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Want a SXSW 2019 badge without breaking the bank? Volunteer

Eric Webb
ewebb@statesman.com
Volunteer Elizabeth Hunt, right, fills bags for fellow volunteers Justine Zarate, right, and Jesus Santos, center, as people arrive to pick up their badges prior to the first day of the film and interactive portion of South By Southwest 2016 at the Austin Convention Center on Thursday, March 10, 2016. [Deborah Cannon/American-Statesman file]

South By Southwest, Austin’s annual music/film/interactive/everything conference, can be the ultimate fountain of F.O.M.O. (That’s “fear of missing out,” for the acronym averse.) If you’re looking to spend some time soaking up the sprawl of culture at this year’s conference but don’t have the price of a badge in your budget, you might want to consider pitching in to get a perk instead.

On Tuesday, SXSW put out the call for volunteers at this year’s event. Volunteers who spend enough time on the clock receive festival badges as a perk of their service. Sign-ups are now open on the SXSW website, and there are two kinds of volunteer shifts: “All Conference” and “Music Venue,” with more than 30 different crews to choose from between them. There are minimum hour thresholds volunteers must work in order to earn a badge to attend the conference on their own time, details of which are on the SXSW website. (You'll need to put in at least 24 hours of work as a music venue volunteer, for example.) Volunteer opportunities are available both during the day and at night.

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Those interested in volunteering at SXSW are encouraged to attend a “volunteer call” where volunteer schedules will be set; volunteer calls are slated for January 27, February 10 and February 23. Attendees can expect to spend about an hour at the call, according to conference organizers.

Also on Tuesday, SXSW announced a slew of speakers, including U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, musician A$AP Rocky, best-selling author Neil Gaiman, actor Henry Winkler and more. This year’s conference is set for March 8-17. For more information, go to the SXSW website.