Do you know the feeling I call SXSW exhaustion? You do, don’t you? It’s what happens after after thousands of people flood the city where you live for about 10 days and every thing is taken over. You can’t avoid festivities. I am impressed if you don’t attend a single gathering, cause I know your friends are there. They, at least, comb downtown for free drinks and giveaways. They, at least, go to Auditorium Shores for free music. You, at least, got stuck in the traffic. I can’t find any hard numbers on attendees but it appears that between 24,000-30,000 people attended SXSW last year. Who knows who many this year?
And now SXSW is over and I am left with my free bottle openers, cigarettes (even though I don’t smoke), sunglasses, T-shirts, CDs of bands I have never heard of, ponchos and flash drives, and a feeling of never wanting to go out again. Goodbye SXSW. See you next year.
If you like country music at all, definitely check out The Carper Family and Mike and the Moonpies. They were mentioned on CMT as country music to check out during SXSW! Congratulations guys!
Both videos were shot by John Donofrio (although I don’t think the second one is considered finished yet). Note the Mike Judge cameo in the Moonpies video!
It’s that time again kids! The infamous SXSW has come to Austin. Prepare to park your car and dust off your bike because SXSW is a time where traffic never moves and parking is a distant dream.
Despite the fact that I am fortunate (or unfortunate in this case) to have a full time job and cannot attend all the free things that happen in the day, my plan this year is to make the most of Austin’s legendary event. The key, I have learned, is to RSVP to as many free events as possible. So far I only have a few shows lined up for myself but my big plan tonight is to work out a schedule. Tomorrow at the Belmont will be Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr.
Maybe a free concert by the Shins at Auditorium Shores next week?
The possibilities are endless!
Things I’ve learned since the start of SXSW:
Paper IDs that the State of Texas has issued you and are totally valid will do nothing but hold you back. My night ended early Wednesday because I was tired of being turned down by bars.
Bars that say they have free food and beer often do not.
Trailers make the best drunk food. Recommendations here are the trailers on East 6th, especially the taco one. Yes, to the Margarita taco as well as Mi Madre. Last night I had a great steak fajita quesadilla from one on West 6th across from Star Bar.
Celebrity sightings are always talked about but never happen to me. This year the names on people’s lips are Bill Murray and Michael Cera. Both of whom I’d be happy to meet and become the personal friends of. And yet, no.
Now is a very easy but horribly inconvenient time to get sick. I spent a lot of money today purchasing immune boosting goodies.
Don’t drive. Wear sunscreen. Green beer stains your teeth.
Everyone on the street wants to high five you.
Quit your day job. The best free things happen during the day. The night time is for the big spenders and/or the extremely touristy and dedicated.
Everything feels more exciting. Work seems ten times harder. Music starts to float in through the windows in the afternoon and I’m drawn again and again to look outside although I know I can’t see anything. I can’t see all the tourists wearing badges around their necks and carrying bags of free goodies. The less affluent wear wristbands that set a person back more than a paycheck. They walk in packs, Ray-Bans on and tight jeans stretched, hiding nothing.
Last night I went to a house party in Hyde Park where I watched two close friends perform as Loves It! as well as a band from L.A. called Slang Chickens who were fantastic. House parties are a lost art. This house was was incredibly friendly. Everywhere I went I introduced myself or was greeted and spoken to warmly and enthusiastically. They paid for 3 kegs and made endless supplies of tater tots. Tater tots are the key to a good party.
If you haven’t made it to a South by Southwest, do it. Don’t buy a wristband or a badge. Just show up and enjoy all the amazing free music and free giveaways! Not to mention the celebrity sightings are always a hot topic. From what I understand Bill Murray is an Austin favorite!