Making sense of SXSW

Caleb Grant performing at Maggie Mae's

The Flatstock Stage

Posters from the film festival

We didn't really ever make sense of it.  The website for this famous music, technology, gaming and film festival was difficult to understand.  The badges are oriented toward a person interested in one "track" rather than someone in town for a weekend and wanting to see as much as possible.  The badges are very expensive.  We saw the Flatstock poster show, which was free and had live music.  The posters were exceedingly commercial.  They were images with an artist or band name put on them in a fairly random way.  Many were quite derivative of artists such as Mucha and Peter Max.  It was a pleasant enough experience.  We found out that they were selling wrist bands for the day to the gaming exhibits for $25.  That wasn't appealing to us.  There was live music in the convention center, but no one seemed to know if it was possible to buy a pass for the afternoon.  It was all a bit baffling.

The best part was the many streets downtown and throughout the city were blocked off.  Most of the bars had live music and it was fun to wander around and pop into different bars.  I particularly enjoyed Caleb Grant, who is a local singer/guitarist.  His group was very good and worth hearing again.

We will probably come to SXSW next year and try to do a better job of understanding what kind of badge we need.  It was also difficult to understand where events were taking place, since they are spread all of the city.  Now that I am more familiar with the city, I think this will be a bit easier.

Rainey Street with food trucks including a fresh donut truck


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