How to Sell a Pile of Dirt to SXSW Hipsters

Mar 07, 2014 at 9:15 AM ET

For the uninitiated, SXSW is an annual celebration of tech, music and film that attracts some 200,000 beer-guzzling frat dudes, tech cognoscenti and arty hipsters to Austin for a week of bacchanalia. Some folks have the opportunity to stay in nice hotel, like the W downtown. When those rooms run out (or aren’t in the budget), people stay in motels along Route 35. When those rooms are all booked, people find nearby apartments to rent—or even spare bedrooms.

For the everyone who’s left, there’s always Adam Yoo’s dirt patch.

Yoo is offering space on his property for $35 a night. It includes access to a portable toilet and free Wi-Fi, but the tent isn’t included. “We weren’t sure how comfortable we’d be with people on the property,” Yoo says, “but there was a need to bring in some extra funds.”

In the last few years, startups like Airbnb, Task Rabbit, Lyft and, of course, Craigslist have made it mainstream (and easy) to rent out the things you own—even if you don’t own much, apparently.

It’s not just lodging. People find all kinds of ways to participate in the new “sharing economy.” And SXSW is a perfect illustration of this trend.

Here’s how.

Lodging and Shelter

If Yoo’s campsite doesn’t do it for you, you have other options.

Option 2: A creepy van to sleep in, located in some guy’s backyard. Cost: $40/night. A little sketchy, but will do in a pinch.

Option 3: Vintage Trailer on Woodsy Lot. Cost: $100/night. Actually, this one got a few nice reviews. Looks cozy.

Personal Services

If you’re a local sound technician living in Austin, it makes sense to post a personal ad on Craigslist right before a giant music festival in your town.

But what if you have don’t have “technical skills?” You still apparently have plenty of options. You can:

Stuff for Rent or Sale:

Bike rentals are hot at SXSW. Austin is a relatively small city, and it’s generally pretty sunny out, so lots of festival-goers use bikes or scooters to get around. Not everyone in Austin has a bike to rent out—but they have other things. One guy wants to sell his old sunglasses. “Great item for SXSW and outdoor activities!” he writes. Another wants to rent his old freezer.

Still, money can’t buy you everything, apparently. One 28-year-old lonely guy is just looking for love at SXSW, and can’t seem to find it yet. After a lengthy description of what he’s looking for (“tall,” “embraces morning day-drinking”), he concludes:

“To apply, please email us your name, a picture, a short description of why you’re interested in being my SXSW girlfriend, and your top three SXSWs of all time.”