Editorial: Paying the Price for Platinum

Looking at the Benefits of a Platinum Badge at SXSW

Juan (JC) Ramirez Delgadillo, Web Editor-in-Chief

SXSW is an event packed with festivals, showcases, movie screenings, and so much more. With so much to see, badges are organized to give attendees primary access to enter  different events. The four types of badges are as follows: interactive, film and TV, music, and platinum. Each type of badge allows entrance to the events under the specific category while platinum provides primary access to all of the events.


There are many benefits to getting a platinum badge compared to other types, both as a journalist and an event attendee. For example, with a platinum badge I got primary access to every variety of event. However, when I did not have the platinum badge last year, my experience consisted of only being able to go to the creative industry expo and interactive-related conferences. 


Also, I had to wait in longer lines when I did not have the platinum badge. The primary lines for film premieres and many music concerts filled up extremely fast, and the wait time for the secondary line could be for several  hours.With the platinum badge however, I was able to see twice as many events this year compared to last year.


Another added benefit is the SXXPress passes obtained each day. The SXXPress pass is a pass that requests priority access to a specific event within the badge limit. With the platinum badge there are three SXXPress passes available each day. Other badge types grant access to the same number but only to its specified event type, However, a platinum badge can be used across every event type.This was extremely helpful when I needed to plan what I would cover for the day. For instance, it made getting to the front row of concerts easier thus letting me take better photos of the event. 


Each event has so many different individual conferences and concerts that made the platinum badge worth the price. I was able to attend exciting music events, and it was there that I was able to meet with a variety of musicians, such as “We Don’t Ride Llamas” , a local Austin rock band. Being at the concerts I got to learn about local bands and get to listen to new releases by those musicians. 


The film festival gave me a new perspective into what goes on behind the scenes in films as I got to watch a movie or a series premier and then hear the actors and film director give a Q&A session. The actors and directors mostly talked about their experience working together and other aspects of the film such as how it was led and why most of the cast were people of color for shows like “Beef.”


Finally, the platinum badge includes access to events included under the interactive badge such as the creative industry expo which showcases new innovations in different industries. The inventions I saw revolved around music, health, and printing, among many others. I think most people would enjoy the talks about the current state of technology and new innovations, even if they have only a small amount of interest in technology.


For all the benefits the platinum badge gives, the price is worth every single penny. SXSW is one of the biggest events in Austin and getting to explore a large part of it thanks to the platinum badge is an unforgettable experience.