Recently SXSW lost the creator and long time champion of the International Artist Home Share Program, Marilyn Faust. Marilyn saw a need for the International Artist Home Share Program many years ago to help accommodate international artists, which made SXSW a true possibility for them. SXSW will continue to offer the International Home Share Program in honor of Marilyn.
The SXSW Music Festival showcases nearly 600 international artists every year. These artists provide diversity to SXSW and, by extension, to the City of Austin. While all artists officially invited to showcase SXSW have access to our hotel rooms with discounted rates, international travel can be extremely expensive. Some SXSW international artists cannot afford traditional hotel accommodations.
To help international artists manage the costs of performing at the festival, SXSW is proud to offer the International Artist Home Share program. This program presents Austin residents who may have extra space in their home the opportunity to host an international band or artist during SXSW.
In exchange, home share hosts receive SXSW Music Fest Wristbands. This program started in the early 1990s, and there is a community of people who are involved every year. Past hosts have found this program very rewarding and an excellent opportunity to show off their Austin inspired Texas hospitality to musicians from around the globe.
Here are some facts and guidelines about the SXSW International Artist Home Share Program that will help you decide if hosting a band or musician will be right for you:
Host homes are most suitable if located near downtown and the close surrounding areas, and the closer to venues the better. Homes outside of the Austin Metro area are not the most ideal due to the artists transportation needs, however all applications will be considered. Being near a Cap Metro and/or MetroRail stops is a plus.
The International Artist Home Share Program is open to many sleeping options. These include but are not limited to, back houses/garage apartments, spare bedrooms, sleeper couches, couches, and air mattresses. Artist guests will not be asked to sleep directly on the floor. Asking a host to relinquish their entire home would never be considered. We require the host provide basic bedding needs for the artist, unless otherwise discussed, such as:
- Air mattresses
- Sleeper couches/ Futons
- Comforters & Sheets
- Other suitable bedding and linens
Home share hosts are not responsible for their artist guest’s transportation. However, any help in this area is greatly appreciated – with airport transportation being especially helpful. Artists are encouraged to either use rental cars or ride share, but those can be expensive. Having knowledge and providing guidance with public transportation is also very beneficial
Home share hosts are not responsible for feeding their artist guests, but they greatly appreciate any hospitality above and beyond expectations. Sharing meals gives the hosts an opportunity for the artist guest to get to know the host better. Often artists get their best taste of Texas by sharing meals with their host. Many hosts find sharing meals to be one of the most rewarding experiences of this program.
Length of Stay
The length of stay varies for every artist, but most plan on staying for the entirety of SXSW Music Festival. As musicians, they want to absorb as much of SXSW and Austin as they can. Hosts may be asked to be available 1-2 days prior to the start of SXSW Music Festival, and possibly 1 day after the festival is over. We would never ask hosts to be available for the entire month of March. Please note in your request if you are not able to accommodate artist guests for the entire festival. Artists length of stay needs will be matched with hosts who can best accommodate them.
Home share hosts are presented a potential artist based on their application. If the host would like to move forward, the International Home Share Team will introduce the host to the artist via email. From there, it becomes the host and artist responsibility to discuss all aspects of the artists potential stay. Any details, questions, or issues should be addressed at this time. All details must be settled before confirming that the host will house the artist.
Artist guests must abide by the host’s house rules. SXSW will make this clear to them in advance. While SXSW will support the host’s house rules, it is up to the host to let the artist know what they expect.
SXSW Music Fest Wristbands
SXSW Music Festival Wristbands are given in exchange for hosting international artists. Wristband holders have access to SXSW Music Fest official venues without paying a cover charge. Admittance is subject to age requirements and venue capacity. Hosts will be notified when and where to pick-up their wristbands. Each individual must pick-up their own wristband in-person, and present a valid picture ID. No exceptions.
Please do not contact SXSW Housing about being a host as this department deals with hotel accommodations only. There are never enough hosts, so please forward this to any reliable friends or neighbors who may be interested.
*SXSW reserves the right to put hosts through a thorough vetting process. This could include a phone interview, should we see the need.
**Please note, an application to host does not guarantee that an artist will be matched to stay in your home. Nor does an application guarantee you a credential.
Questions or Issues
Use the “Sign Up to Host” button below to apply to participate in the International Home Share Program. If you have questions, email our International Artist Home Share Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.