Overall, my experience in Austin was better than last year mainly because there was no one there to ruin my good time this go round. I didn’t get to attend nearly as many shows as I wanted to, thanks to the badge/wristband stipulation that were peppered throughout the festival.
Shit royally sucked and 95% of the staff I ran into were assholes about it too.
The shows I DID get into were pretty dope: I managed to catch the tail end of the annual Rumbler Lounge show at Peckerheads and peeped Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, and The Cool Kids; The Light Bar hosted a show that I caught Finally Famous alum SayItAintTone at and Big Sean was there to support as they wound up performing “My Closet” together (DOPE!); At Suite 101, there was a showcase but I only stayed for one act (Hank & Cupcakes) that I may end up profiling sooner than later; the grand finale on my SXSW adventure was (of course) the Sore Losers set at Nuvola. Epic is the only thing that could describe that experience.
I went to a bar for the first time and even got a free drink after the bartender pitied me (he knew I didn’t want to be there), had a Rum & Coke for the first (and second) time, and saw a woman dancing topless to some rousing drum beats on 6th. Oh, Austin, you never let me down. I also hit the NiceKicks shop for the The Hundreds event and stayed long enough to meet nearly half my Twitter timeline, which was dope, at the Bun B birthday event. Jeremy of UnkommonKolor snapped my picture as I was wearing my “We Are The Fly” shirt and it was crazy how EVERYBODY knew it was me once they actually saw me; “you’re Steph” and other variations of that was all I heard, which was funny. I guess as much as I tweet, they’ve seen my default enough times to know my face off top. Good or bad thing…?
Next year, all badges all the freakin’ way. I mean that. My hotel (Habitat Suites) was pretty bomb though but I’ll be staying downtown so I can wander all I want and not have to get home by cab. Shit gets expensive mad quick. I won’t dwell on shit that didn’t work out in my favor because that would be negative. I’ll just say that next year is gonna be ON: I’m booking all my shit this fall, no lie.
If you EVER want to experience the epicness that SXSW brings to Austin on a yearly basis, start saving now and get your ass there next year! Don’t just read your social networking pages and wish you could partake in the festivities; come be a part of it and have the time of your life! There’s always something for everyone, so there’s no excuse. I wanna see some familiar faces next March =)