The first time I heard about South by Southwest, I was living in Los Angeles. To us, it was more like South by SouthEAST! I had the great fortune to play there a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed the experience. It was like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, only mellow. Imagine 200,000 people in the streets of Austin, and no one naked or too drunk. Now, I see the disadvantages of that, but it still was fun. We played Darwin’s Pub, which had an awesome stage, and did a huge amount of networking. So for those of you planning a trip in your future, here’s some survival tips:
1) You can have a good time at SXSW for free. You can see your favorite band for free. Most bands do 4 or 5 shows during SXSW, and only one of them will need for you to have a wristband.
2) The best events are RSVP ones. These are free, you just have to give a name and an email beforehand on the SXSW website.
3) Bring layers! Temperature was between 40 and 75 degrees throughout the weekend, so be ready for anything. It even snowed when we were leaving Austin.
4) Some of the best bands are playing at events not affiliated with SXSW. These are bands passing out flyers on the streets. One of the best shows I saw was at the Austin Museum of Art.
Now back to shameless self promotion! One of my students saw the band and can’t tell us what we sound like and what genre we fit exactly, so I’m putting that out there to see if anyone can help define it. I’ve been saying progressive pop rock, which is like saying nothing. So for those who are interested, here’s a video clip: