Today signifies the beginning of March, which happens to be the best month of the year if you live in Austin, TX (and I do). South By Southwest is kicking off next week and my excitement is insatiable. Unlike other music festivals in which you buy 3-day passes and book travel months in advance, SXSW subtly sneaks up on the city of Austin and springs into life akin to how a stick of dynamite spontaneously com-busts or perhaps how a volatile bag of Orville Redenbacher violently pops into being.
SXSW sprawls across the entire city – rather than being housed in one giant outdoor space like your Lollapaloozas and ACLs, shows and parties (both official and non-offical) span downtown parking lots, record shops, campus bars and even kegger-flowing backyards of accommodating, extra laidback residents.
If you can tell by my desk calendar adorned with a rainbow of Post-it notes, preliminary attempts at scheduling the upcoming weeks has already begun, but as I’ve learned very well over the years – SXSW plans are never concrete. I’ve already tried to aggregate my plans via Google Calendar and Excel spreadsheet and developed some semblance of order, but I typically just go with the flow and decide on my plans the day of, oftentimes hours before.
I wonder if this is what living in New York is like because essentially every man is for himself during SXSW. There is such an overwhelming amount of parties, film debuts, live music and free booze! Last year, I remember watching Toro y Moi play a record store during my lunch break and skipping out of work about two hours early to wait in line and grab a Fader Fort wristband.
I’m getting excited just thinking about it – here were some of my favorite moments from last March:
I’m already trying to stay limber and hydrated for the physical exertion and exhaustion that will inevitably ensue. I anticipate a diet of Red Bull and greasy food cart offerings, ruined sneakers, sore limbs and a shot liver, but it is absolutely worth every minute.
Get excited, y’all.