Need a Room at SXSW? This Agency Is Listing a Free One on Airbnb, but There’s a Catch

The cozy digs aren't for just anyone

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Booking a room in Austin for SXSW can be brutal, and if you’ve left it this late—well, you’re probably open to improvising.

And that’s what you’ll have to do with this very nontraditional room available on Airbnb for free (well, a refundable $10 a night), inside the Austin office of ad agency Vitro. It’s pretty bare bones, though, and comes with a few key restrictions.

First off, the most salient requirement:

To book this room, the agency says with a smile, you must be “a CMO or higher-level executive from a nationally known brand with an annual marketing budget of at least one million dollars, a penchant for buying great creative work, and a base level tolerance for sleeping on the floor of a currently unfurnished portion of a growing creative agency.”

But CMO or higher-level executives who are used to certain creature comforts might be a little shocked by the amenities, of lack thereof, of the Vitro room.

Here’s the description:

One delightfully furniture-less, decor-less, windowless room with almost no privacy! Charming fluorescent lighting! Access to power outlets and a somewhat stocked kitchen! New Carpet!

Enjoy a truly immersive and elusive “millennial experience” sleeping in an empty room just to be part of the buzz of a city lavishing itself in hedonistic celebrations of creative commerce. There are actually currently no beds, but you can drag a couch in from the lobby, or we’re always happy to provide an extra IKEA desk to shelter under.

Take advantage of our SXSW convenient location: just a short walk to Whole Foods, Waterloo Records, hipster boutiques, a minimart converted to an oyster bar, a railroad car converted to a dive bar, and an old saw shack converted to a Johnny Cash tribute bar. All this with the priceless added benefit of being right in the middle of an agency in full SXSW swing.

Be steps away as a severely hungover junior writer strains to grind out copy. Witness repeated morning “kambucha runs.” Hear fresh deadline grousing featuring authentic Austin chestnuts like “Don’t they know it’s South By???!!!” Even bring back your own “thought starters” from SXSW each night, and watch them be magically turned into full fledged proposals by around lunch-ish the next day (provided that enough beer and pizza are provided.)

BONUS! Get the SX digital experience sleeping by the WIFI router!

The photos aren’t exactly enticing, either. But hey, the price is right!

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@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.