Lukas Nelson's Guide to SXSW

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Lukas Nelson, pictured second from left, with Promise of the Real

It’s easy to take advice from industry-types on the best food, drink and place to see your live music at SXSW. But Lukas Nelson—a singer/songwriter who plays with his band, Promise of the Real; Austin native and son of Willie Nelson—was kind enough to give us some insider perspective on the festival. Check out his South By suggestions below, and you can also catch him tomorrow from 3-5 p.m. at The Green Music Stage at the IFC Crossroads House (302 E 6th Street)

Best kept SXSW and Austin secrets:
First of all, you have to eat at La Condessa and also a great restaurant called Sway. Both are owned by a guy named Jesse Herman, a real food connoisseur and a good friend. He’s got a great ear for music as well, so ask him what he’s planning to see at the festival this year, because I guarantee he’s recommendations will be good.

There’s going to be a screening of the movie When Angels Sing. It’s a fun movie that stars Willie Nelson and Harry Connick Jr. among others.

Austin is a great city for wildlife. There are some great trails and hikes nearby and most folks are friendly enough to show you around. I would encourage everyone to go experience some nature during the day and then experience the city and bands as the day gets later.

Getting Around:
It’s a festival, so walking around is probably your best bet.

Required Listening:
Personally, I would just walk around aimlessly until I heard something that sounded good on 6th Street or until someone yells out “you have to catch so and so” and then try and figure out where they are playing and check it out. A band that you should check out is called the Guards. A friend of mine introduced them to me and they are great people.

There’s a whole ton of bands and showcases, so just grab a schedule and figure out if you can recognize any band names, if any sound just clever, zany, introspective or enlightening enough for you to dip your proverbial listening-pole in.

Tips and Must-Haves:
All in all, I’d say just have a great time and try not to get too messed up. Keep the vibes intense but controlled. Drink a lot of water.

Bring a reusable bottle of water because Brita is providing Hydration Stations around the festival so you can fill up with free water during the day so that you can keep rocking without getting sloppy on everybody. Plus you can be environmentally conscious and keep waste at a minimum.

As my dad always says “Keep your nose clean and your legs crossed and stay out of the trees.”

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