South by South West is one of those events that has been on my ‘one day’ wishlist for a few years now, but the excuse to fly over to Texas for a week of music, crowds, tacos and sun has always eluded me. that is until this year.
Flights are booked and a house share set up, I’m winging my way to Austin on the 9th or March for the Music week (and the end of the interactive). I’m lucky enough to be tagging along with Gulp who are one of the showcase bands, so I’ll be taking my projector along and hopefully doing some projection for their set.
Now Texas may seem a bit of a long way to travel for the sake of a handful of half hour gigs (you’d be right), but it’s said that SXSW offers up innumerable opportunities to see, meet and share a drink with a who’s who of the interactive, Music and Film worlds. I’m personally seeing the journey as an excuse to immerse myself in the alternative ‘fringe’ SXSW – aside from filling myself with free tacos and saturating my ears with music on tap, I’ll be drawing daily (every band I see), photographing and writing for the Burning Red blog.
They Ride Horses Don’t They?
As for my music itinerary, I’m probably going to worry about that when on the plane or in the fray of Sixth street, and once I’ve had time to fill up my SXSW app schedule. I have a vision of throngs of people all trying to get in to the bands that are ‘so hot right now’ so if that does turn out to be the case I’ll likely go with the flow on that one.
I’ll be living like a Texan for the week, and should I need a break from the bands, here’s my list of top things I’d like to try and see and do while ‘keeping it weird‘.
I’ve heard Austin is the home of Tex-Mex, but I’m getting the impression that it’s a foodies paradise no matter the flavour. I’m on a mission to find the best burger, pancakes, milkshake, tacos that I stumble across. Oh yes, and a pharmacy.
I will be staying in a shared house allegedly a 45 minute walk to the downtown area where many of the gigs will be in the evening. I’m used to cycling my way around Cardiff, and considering Austin is a bike friendly city (for America) I’d like to try and get hold of a bike while there. Although many bike shops rent, it’d work out pricey and the bikes on offer all seem a nit too good. I’m going to make my way to the bike farm when I arrive and see if I can pick up an oldie for under $100. (fingers crossed)
Seeing is Believing
When I feel the need to give my ears a rest, I’ll likely fancy bombarding my eyeballs and brain with some art. I’ll cetainly be after some contemporary work, but the Blanton is a museum I see cropping up so I’ll start there, and see where that leads me.
The wrong side of the river seems to be where it’s at. The South congress looks to be a long stretch of galleries, shops, cafes and curiosities. I can’t promise that I will be able to resist picking up a pair of boots while there though.
Photo Credit: Phillip Kromer