Josh Parkin for Highsnobiety

As one of the most buzzed-about festivals in the world, SXSW brings together a plethora of personalities from around the globe. Each year, the four day event showcases incredible talent in music, film, and more recently, virtual reality.

For the 2018 edition, we have already dug into the 10 essential acts to check out, revisited the 12 wildest things that ever happened at SXSW and waxed poetic about Odd Future’s legendary 2011 performance.

Now, we’re diving into the wonderful world of festival stereotypes. We’ve consulted a secret panel of industry experts and now present you with 5 types of people you’re sure to run into if you make it to Austin this year. From the Clout Rapper to the Festival Veteran to the Influencer that forgot why she’s at the festival, here are the 5 types of people you’ll definitely see at SXSW Festival 2018.

1. The Corp Bro

Titelmedia / Josh Parkin

The CorpBro (Corporate Bro) has coasted through life since he exited the womb, probably went to an Ivy League business school, was definitely part of a fraternity, and frequently uses vaping and binge drinking as a substitute for having a real personality. Unsurprisingly, he has a pretty good full-time job at a brand that’s sponsoring SXSW. Lucky for him, he doesn’t actually have to do any work this weekend, so he’s ready to party like it’s 2009 in his dorm room. Wearing a garish graphic tee that might have been visually acceptable on a teenage boy circa 2012 and embarrassingly basic sneakers, note that his girlfriend made him tie his keys and a first aid pack to his belt, just to be on the safe side.

2. The VR/AR Enthusiast


Although you’re most likely to catch her prowling the Playa at Burning Man Festival, the VR/AR Enthusiast feels right at home in the air-conditioned oasis that is SXSW’s lesser-known VR/AR programming. Suited up in a metallic tracksuit and platform sneakers, she’s ready to experience all types of reality – virtual, augmented, mixed, perhaps even “real life” if she’s so inclined! She’s got her own VR headset, thank you very much, and she’s not afraid to call out a panelist for their narrow-minded ideas about the “virtual world.” If she manages to catch any music at the festival, best believe she’ll be seeing a post-post-vaporwave live act.

3. The SXSW Veteran

Titelmedia / Josh Parkin

This festival veteran has been attending SXSW since at least the late ’90s, and has been wearing roughly the same fit each year. Although he keeps it simple with a band T-shirt, flannel shirt, naturally distressed jorts, and a practical pair of beat-up checkered Vans slip-ons, his musical knowledge is vast and complicated, and he wants you to know it! He’ll complain that the festival was way better eight years ago without provocation, name-drop the most obscure acts from countries you didn’t even know existed, and low-key shame the fact that you’re really excited to see Action Bronson.

4. The Clout Rapper

Titelmedia / Josh Parkin

“What is SXSW if not an opportunity to share the gospel of my fire mixtape?” the Clout Rapper asks himself, after finally saving enough money from his fast food job to make the pilgrimage to Austin this year. He’s seriously looking to break 1,000 followers on SoundCloud. His method? Catching the attention of music industry insiders and teenage influencers alike with his brightly-colored hair and sartorial checklist of relevant brands. He’s desperately hoping the CD drive on your laptop still works, because he’s got a freshly-burned mixtape of absolutely fire flows just for you. He’s also desperately hoping he’ll get into the official afterparty he heard the whole A$AP crew will be at, but he’s definitely not on the list, despite his persistence.

5. The Influencer who doesn’t know why she’s there


A certified macro influencer arrives in Austin, and suddenly, she has no idea why she’s there. She knows there’s a cool festival happening… Did a brand send her? Was it Nasty Gal? Fashion Nova? She can’t recall… Everyone sends her free shit these days. Although she brought along at least 15 full SXSW-ready looks, she’ll definitely be spotted wearing small sunglasses and one of her ten pairs of Nike x Virgil Abloh sneakers. Her photographer boyfriend will be following her around all weekend to take gram-ready shots, but she’ll ditch him faster than last season’s Gucci the moment she can get a selfie with a famous rapper.

For more on SXSW, check out the 12 wildest things that ever happened at the festival right here.

Associate Music Editor

Waiting for Sky Ferreira's new album...

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