Things to Do in Line at SXSW

South by Southwest presents the chance to see a movie’s world premiere, red carpet photoshoots and keynote speakers. But all these great things also mean waiting in line, for many hours.

Story by Maya Coplin

Illustrations by Ryan Hicks

Rather than just playing on your phone, here are five things to do in line for your next favorite movie.

Eat: If you are near the Paramount, Stateside Theater, or the Alamo Ritz, you are close to a variety of options. On Sixth Street, Roppolo’s Pizzeria is where you can quickly grab a single slice of pizza to take back to your line. On Congress, head to Royal Blue Grocery to find sandwiches, pasta-to-go and various pastries. There is always the classic P. Terry’s Burgers on Sixth Street as well as Subway on Congress. For some snacks to sneak into the theater, check out either of the 7/11’s on Congress for any candy you would need.

Make new friends: Ask your line neighbors where they are from and what events they have gone to so far. Compare your celebrity sightings. If you need to step out of line and you are alone, your new friends will have your back and save your spot.

Play cards: Got three and a half hours to kill? Start a card game with all the friends you just made in line!

Paint your nails: Save time (and money) on your nails before the festival begins by painting your nails in line. Don’t worry about annoying everyone in line with the smell of nail polish, because by the time the movie starts you will have great nails.

People-watching: Try and guess who is actually from Austin and who is an out-of-towner, check out the street style trends of the festival (red boots or a staple black leather jacket) and watch the people in costumes promoting new movies.