AUSTIN, Texas – Volunteer signups for SXSW and SXSW EDU have begun. If you’re thinking about doing it to get a free badge, here’s what you need to do before the shifts get full.

  • Main conference is March 13-22
  • Does align with AISD and UT spring breaks
  • Volunteering 24+ hours gets you a free badge

This year, the main SXSW conference is March 13-22 and SXSW EDU is March 9-12. That’s good news for the many people that missed out last year because spring break didn’t align with the conference.

Spring break for the Austin Independent School District is March 16–20 and the University of Texas is March 16-21.

Now that you know those important dates, you’ll want to register as a by clicking here.

The next thing you’ll need to do it sign up to pick a crew and a schedule starting January 15. This is actually the first year volunteers will be able to make these selections online.

But how do you know what crew you should sign up for, or how many shifts you need?

There is an informational volunteer fair on Sunday, January 26. If you want to attend, you’ll need to hear to Ballroom A at the at Austin Convention Center from 12 to 6 p.m.

If you can’t wait though, here are a few additional things you should know:

You have to volunteer for a minimum of 24 hours in order to get a badge. And there are three different types of volunteer requirements you can meet to qualify for a badge: All-Conference (AC), All-Conference Exclusive (ACE), and Music Venue (MV).

Here are the main differences between each badge type:

  • AC – This is the most flexible for meeting your hour requirements because you can volunteer for two different crew types. If you meet your hours, you can qualify for a Volunteer Interactive, Film, or Music badge. If you volunteer more than 64 hours and have volunteered in the past, that also opens the door for possibly qualifying for a Platinum badge.
  • ACE – This tract is the same as AC except instead of working on multiple crews, you are assigned to one.
  • MV – This tract will only get you a Volunteer Music badge but, since you would only be volunteering during the music festival, you’re only required to work 32 hours in order to get a Platinum badge.

You can learn more about badge options for volunteers by clicking here.

Now that you have an idea for what kind of badge you might be interested in, let’s look at the kind of volunteer work you’d actually be doing.

Some of the roles range from helping organize lines and giving out badges to driving vehicles or golf carts. And some of the roles could put you anywhere during the conference while others have you spending your time in one specific area. For example, you can sign up for the comedy crew and you will only help with performances during the comedy festival.

Here is a list of all the crew types so you can see what might interest you.

If you have any questions or need more help, organizers say to contact SXSW Event Staffing and Resources at or by calling (512) 467-7979.