SXSW 2010: Day Three | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

SXSW 2010: Day Three

Mar 20, 2010 By Mike Hilleary Bookmark and Share

Somewhere along the line during your stay at SXSW, there’s going to be a point where things will get overwhelming. Between picking which of the countless shows spread out across the city of Austin you want to attend, to the sleep deprived amount of time spent on your feet, the weight of the festival can feel pretty heavy on you from a mental and physical standpoint. For one thing you’ll start to second guess your decision making skills.  Should you have spent the time waiting in that huge line for a guaranteed set of great performances, or was it worth it taking the chance on finding a diamond in the rough, where immediate access and the potential of the unknown also comes with a greater risk against already precious time. It seems like common sense, but the key is not to get frustrated. Once you realize that you can’t be in all places at every second of the day (and night for that matter), you might actually slow down a bit enjoy yourself. You’ll definitely start to appreciate the character of Austin when you do.

It should be worth pointing out that the city has a great variety of transportation. While you could certainly take the traditional route of say a bus or taxi, the ways to really get around (particularly on a nice day) is to land yourself one of the city’s man-powered modes of getting around. Looking like gleaned from the episode of “Seinfeld” where Kramer and Newman attempt to start a rickshaw business utilizing the homeless, there are dozens and dozens of college-age adults providing bike carriage services to anyone looking to cover some more serious distance throughout downtown. Constantly pumping pedals, these guys and girls are seriously hard workers. With real rickshaw workers also thrown in the mix, when you ride with these guys you actually feel good about giving a generous tip.

Another bit of observational awareness is the amount of personal technology in use. Whether he’s aware of it or not, Apple’s Steve Jobs should really start considering being a sponsor of SXSW. You’ve never seen more people making use of their respective iPhones. Between checking schedule updates on the festival’s cellular application, to updating statuses on Facebook and Twitter, to texting and calling friends to meet up at a certain location, not having an iPhone just makes you feel like you’ve missed the memo on being hip. At the same time having an iPhone makes you feel like a genuine hipster doofus.

Of course with so much city-fueled, next generation activity going on, you can forget sometimes that you are indeed in the Lone Star State. Austin may be a progressive location in conservative base, but as a visitor you can’t help but smile to yourself when you walk by a building with a no smoking symbol on its entrance, only to see another just like it depicting a crossed-out handgun instead of a cigarette. Apparently some people just need to be reminded that they have to leave their firearm in the car.  



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