A funny thing has happened to SXSW, which I started to write about in last year’s SXSW wrap-up post: it has tipped. That is, it is no longer a little festival for the geeks of three respective industries, it’s a destination festival for an unheard-of combination of (startup) companies, corporations, and consumers (aka Spring Breakers). There’s possibly nothing else like it in the world, that lasts for so many days and so completely consumes a city (Carnivale?).
So for the first time in FIVE years, I’m not going to SXSW. And much to my surprise, when I let the people and PR companies throwing the parties and events surrounding SXSW interactive, film, and music know that I won’t be in town for it this year, the vast majority have e-sighed and said something along the lines of wishing they weren’t going to be in town either.
We are so jaded, Austinites.
Rambling aside, many of you will be in town, and even if you aren’t going big (which I cannot even pretend to recommend anymore, it’s beyond exhausting), below are six things you should probably take a look at …
1. Daytime Party List
Since I won’t be compiling the massive spreadsheet I have in the past, you NEED the 2012 SXSW Daytime Party List from Sperry Media. This is the first draft, a final will be published next week. I cannot stress enough, if you might possibly maybe be thinking about possibly hitting up a party, RSVP RSVP RSVP. And RSVP again. Except not really, just make sure you RSVP once.
Alternatively, Do512 has a SXSW take over on their always-happening website and you can:
2. Check out the new stuff, like a work collab
Texenza Coffee shop (4th and Congress) during South by Southwest is turning into a great place to collaborate and work. They’ll be giving away free breakfast, lunch, coffee, and drinks to anyone who stops by. March 9-13 from 9a-7p. You probably have actual work to get done, so stop by and do it while networking your face off.
3. Check out the old standbys, like the Four Seasons’ morning acoustic music showcases
Four Seasons Hotel Austin and KUT-FM 90.5 are once again teaming up for early-morning music. Wednesday, March 14 through Saturday, March 17, $10 gets you a breakfast taco and unlimited coffee, while the money goes to Austin’s Seton Shivers Cancer Center at Brackenridge Hospital. New this year, The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Austin will offer complimentary hand massages and mini-facials throughout each day’s event. The music schedule (each artist performs a 30-minute set):
•Wednesday, March 14 (7 – 11am) – Lost in the Trees, Grace Woodroofe, M. Ward, Cotton Mather
•Thursday, March 15 (7 – 11am) – Kat Edmonson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jimmy Cliff, Punch Brothers
•Friday, March 16 (7 – 11am) – Ruthie Foster, Motopony, James Mercer, Trampled by Turtles, Nneka
•Saturday, March 17 (8am – 12noon) – Sons of Fathers, Glen Hansard, Justin Townes Earle, Nada Surf
4. Another app
You will go into new app overload during SXSW, but the good news is that the cream will rise to the top and the rest will simply get deleted (though somehow apps are never really deleted, but I digress). One possibility for widespread adoption is a new geosocial service called glomper. The mobile-and-web app ties together check-ins and sharing across already active social platforms facebook, twitter, instagram, foursquare, etc. but is strongly event-focused—so it’s more about partying. You can see all the events nearby by type/date and you will be able to share your plans to visit them before they start and then to check-in when you arrive.
Launch event Mar. 11 from 3-7p, at the Launch787 next to Moonshine. Free but you need to RSVP: glomper.eventbrite.com
5. Spa getaway in town(ish)
Lakeway Resort and Spa on Lake Travis is 18 miles northwest of downtown Austin. They’ve got events all week for families, but even if you’re not staying there, you can get away and enjoy the Hill Country Festival with live music and kids activities on March 10th and 11th at 3p or a St. Patrick’s Day Beer Garden + entertainment on March 17th at 6p. The spa at the resort has also put together the San Saba Spa Delight, a 50-minute signature facial and a traditional manicure for $148 to rejuvenate during or after your SXSW adventures. Post-SXSW, refresh with a nightly rate of $125 for March 18 – March 22 only. Promo code is SPRING.
6. Three rules to live by
I posted 11 SXSW Rules last year, but let’s face it, there are really only three important rules: (1) drink a thousand times more water than you think you need to, (2) wear your sunscreen unless it’s raining which it might be, and (3) relax—there’s no way you will ever make it to everything, so enjoy what you’re doing and forget about the rest.