SXSW: Austin’s Annual Explosion

24 03 2012

Well hot damn! We arrived in Austin with enough time to experience the city pre-SXSW. There was a lot going on, but the city wasn’t bursting at the seams. During Southby (SXSW) it feels as though Austin’s population doubles, and that the entire influx of people take to the streets. It’s way fun, but it’s also good that SXSW only lasts a couple of weeks. (For a taste of the crowds, check out this video that we took of 6th Street one night.)

Counting Crows concert, with Austin's skyline in the background

Counting Crows concert, with part of Austin's skyline in the background

Badges for Southby run upwards of $1,000, but there is plenty to be had for free. Food, film, drinks, presentations, expos. It’s all there for the taking. And due to the serendipitous Austin convergence of three other young fulltime RVing couples, we took… and took… and took. We first met up with Maria and Skyler, who are a just weeks into their fulltiming adventure. Our time with them was unfortunately short, but we enjoyed a night downtown complete with free drinks and music, and a marginally successful attempt at seeing Austin’s bat colony.

Ayo with Maria and Skyler

Ayo with Maria and Skyler, unintentionally color-coordinated

Later on we met up with Cory and Lindsay, also newbies to fulltiming but “redeemed” by their connection to one of the party-throwers at Southby. Thanks to them we went to a Bing open food/bar event, a circus, and other great free stuff. Before they hit the road out of Austin I took them climbing at the gorgeous Barton Springs Greenbelt, a place that Ayo and I have been frequenting recently.

With Cory and Lindsay at a Bing event

With Cory and Lindsay at a Bing event. In case you couldn't tell, I had planned on spending the day swimming - not at a fashion / style bash!

Matt and Bree have also been in town for a while, and we’ve been spending a solid amount of time hanging together. (We couldn’t help but take them to see Ayo’s amazing SXSW artwork. She painted the following tag on the wall of a downtown building. It’ll be up for the next few months!)

Find us in blue!

Find us in blue!

One other very cool thing happened at SXSW, but that’ll wait until the next post. Instructions: Put on some suspenseful music for 1 minute beginning now, and turn it back on five minutes before reading the next post. It’s worth it. Maybe.

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posted by yair




4 responses

25 03 2012
Marianne Edwards

We fell in love with Austin in 2008 but only spent a few days there. Have always wanted to be there for SXSW but gave up on the idea because of the cost. Your post – showing the so many freebees to be had, makes us rethink that. We always have loved stumbling upon any town’s festivals but don’t like planning them into an itinerary. That just wouldn’t flow with our “blow with the wind” travels, however, with a two-week-long-window ……it might just have to happen.

26 03 2012

Let us know if you make it back to Austin! We’d love to meet you and it looks like we might be eyeing many of the same events. 🙂

29 03 2012
Stewart Nicholas

It’s funny, I had my own “marginally successful attempt at seeing Austin’s bat colony” moment while I was in Austin over the last couple of days. It is a great city, I’m glad I was able to check it out.

Ayo, it was great meeting you in O’Hare. I feel like I have to apologize though; running on almost 5 hours of sleep, and it being almost 11:00pm (New York time) I’m not sure I was at my peak conversationally. Still it was one of the highlights of my trip. Thanks for the experience 🙂

21 05 2012

It was great meeting you, too! Thanks for getting in touch and say hi to a new person the next time you find yourself at the airport. You never know what cool person you’ll meet! 🙂

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