It's easy to forget in the excitement and buildup that starts to swirl a few months before South by Southwest, but going down to Austin from wherever you are actually costs money. The flights, the gas money, the passes, the burritos, the whatever other things. And because of this expense, it prevents a lot of psyched-up music fans from actually going and getting to be a part of all the really cool partyzzzz that happen in those few days in March.
Luckily, while you're sitting at home counting your pennies, you still have an opportunity to feel like you're part of the madness. For the past three years, inaugurating themselves in 2011, Couch by Couchwest has put on their own music festival that resembles all the best parts of SxSW, but without the expense. Bands from around the world (Neko Case contributed two years ago) can submit a video of themselves performing from their kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms (just anywhere but a stage), and the videos get posted during the week of the real festival. All you have to do is sit back, grab a beer, and tune in. No passes needed and you can still read Impose while you're watching.