Made up of five days of Interactive, six days of Music, with a day of overlap…I attended the full eleven days of SXSW, again. I’m a tech geek and music junkie for doing it, I know. The first step is accepting you have a problem…
It took me six days to get back to my normal sleeping patterns, three weeks to get back into my gym routine, and a lifetime of never eating Tex-Mex again, but I’ve detoxed SXSW. Now, I can look back on it and admit that SXSW makes my year, every year. Here are 10 THINGS special about this one:
1. VIP errrrythang
My mama always told me I was a special little girl. She didn’t tell me I was a very important person, though! It still comes as a pleasant surprise when I’m able to show a badge or shake a hand and walk right into the VIP section, of the VIP section. VIP at Dawes (one of my favorite, not-rap artists). VIP at Macklemore and guests. VIP at Master P, The Cool Kids, Bun B, Neon Indian, Slaughterhouse, and loads more, but I was too drunk at the time to remember them all now. My left wrist had an Artist bracelet on it, consider it better than the Official SXSW Platinum badge; my right wrist had 15+ bracelets on it, including VIP to Warner Sound, RedBull, Pandora, Fader Fort, Spotify, Rdio, Hype Machine…I’ll stop.
I could write a “10 THINGS” about all of my VIP memories…
2. Seeing Cory Kendrix rock three OFFICIAL shows
Cory Kendrix keeps it #outhere in Austin, Texas holding it down for the NW. Last year he rocked a few unofficial showcases… This year? OFFICIAL, literally. You guys know StubHub? They had a party, he was on that bill. You guys like The Pharcyde? Yeah, Cory rocked with them too.
3. Working, and not working
Last year at SXSW I worked all eleven days. This year I only worked during the Interactive portion… [Who am I kidding? I worked all eleven days, I only got paid for five though.] I don’t mind working at SXSW, which entails taking clients to the coolest, underground parties followed by afterhours karaoke and topped off with a 5am “breakfast” at Magnolia Café. I enjoyed not working too… Working means early mornings and late nights; not working means late mornings and late nights! (Let your imagination run wild… it happened).
4. Laying by the pool
While not working, I got some R&R at the pool! I almost felt like I was on vacation. Until I got sunburnt. Then I felt like I was an idiot.
5. Free gear
Swag on swag on swag. Schwag on schwag on schwag. The best piece of free gear I copped was a lighter from CrowdSYNC. (Go download their app!)
You may recall… Last year there were “some days I consumed 4,000 calories of BBQ.” This year? Tex-Mex. I think I had one meal that wasn’t Tex-Mex (Cuban, of course) and the only BBQ I had was at the airport.
7. Partying on a tour bus
I’m no groupie, and I’ve spent enough time around artists to no-longer get star struck, but partying with Third Eye Blind on their tour bus after they rocked Pandora’s stage so hard the police department shut it down…is a SXSW ’13 moment to remember.
8. THIS business card
9. Looking forward to heading home
About nine days in, I was ready to get out. I had more than one bad customer service experience, a few not-Southern gentlemen encounters, and I missed the homies from last year, who didn’t attend this year. [Shout out to my fellow WOHM’ers Espi and Mac!] So, even more than looking forward to heading home, I was looking forward to SXSW ‘14.
10. Running into the homies at the airport
Finally, the eleventh day brought my spirits up again. Not good customer service, not a Southern gentleman—I ran into the homies Trox, Ibeth Hernandez (aka @StrictlyBizz), Spac3man, and friends the AUS airport! We all got BBQ (see Number Six), rehashed our SXSW experiences—Trox had a set that got cancelled, Spac3man had a few, and Ibeth hosted an unofficial NW showcase on Sixth Street. And then? #APM!
BONUS: 10 THINGS aside, I also… Saw Icona Pop, Rockie Fresh, Paramore, RL Grime, Lord Huron, the Allah Las, The Joy Formidable, St. Lucia, Branches, Trinidad James, and again more, but they were extra indie and I was wasted. Found a pink dog. To clarify, I found a white Shih Tzu whose owner dyed her hair pink. Did un-bloggagable things in the Artist Tent. Was given an extra badge to the official SXSW Entrepreneur’s Lounge where I drank from the top shelf and ate Brazilian steak, fo’ free. Hung around tech-rock stars: Craig from Craigslist, the inventors of Google Glass, the founder of UrbanDictionary.com, and top tier reporters. Met my look my look-alike Sophia Bush (we don’t look alike IRL). Met Dirt Nasty. Played with a life-size Lite Brite. Tried Sidecar for the first time. And had the time of my life, again.