As the SXSW virgin on this trip, and the one in charge of taking this blog into its second week, it seemed only fitting that I should attempt to accurately surmise our Austin adventures.
And where the hell does one start?
When SXSW works it is the most incredible, life-affirming, wondrous, visceral thrill of an experience. Imagine, if you will, laying back on the grass staring at the clouds watching them seamlessly change and renew into different shapes and places instantaneously and being effortlessly rewarded for just taking the time to lay back and let the world sink in.
And heck it even turns out even the very clouds themselves were put there as an art installation by 5 planes criss-crossing the sky past a crane covered in fairy lights.
Whats not to love? Friends are made, drinks are drunk, tacos become breakfast elevenses brunch lunch tea and dinner, every band is the best thing you have seen yet (Fat Whites/Wytches/ Coach Whips/Royal Blood/ Future Islands/ Greys/ Fat Whites/ Eeagulls/ Perfect Pussy/ Traams/ Fat Whites AGAIN) and even the tamest of day gigs result in you crawling through the front door broken and bruised at 4am with a smile from ear to ear all ready to do it again the next day.
But therein lies the big problem with SXSW – the crushing aching tiredness that comes not from partying too hard and the fact the only green thing edible for 20 miles in every direction is Guacamole but the sheer hard work trying to do everything, anything, can become. Even by the end of the first day every conversation seemed to digress not to what band you had seen but which queue you had been in. The entire first day, my first experience nonetheless, I didnt see a single band and as time went by it seemed you had to spend as much time fannying around worrying how and where to get in to places rather than just living and enjoying what you were doing.
Marcus has touched on the Spring Break vibe before but Sixth Street, the hub of Austin and its plethora of live music venues, previously the life and soul of SXSW is now clogged up worse than Matty’s colon with bros, hoes and $$$$ Sign Joe’s like some king of fucking live from Cancun MTV special. Its a shame. A crying one. And one thats seemingly completely at odds with the whole point of this wonderful and weird place.
When SXSW is on top form its one of the best places and experiences on earth and one I really hope doesnt get lost deep in its own ass selling out