By Izzi Bavis
If you are confused about what South By Southwest (SXSW) is, I urge you to check out another piece I wrote for WSUM’s blog here, where I talk about what SXSW is and who I’m excited to see while in Texas.
South by Southwest (SXSW) is in full swing here in Austin, Texas and the WSUM/WUD group are struggling to make it to everything on time. What they don’t tell you (or maybe they did, I just wasn’t paying attention) is that SXSW is so overwhelming. There are multiple shows every day and they usually start at 10PM. As a sleepy girl this is not ideal.
On our first full day here we didn’t know what to do or what to expect. After picking up our passes at the convention center we stumbled into a NFT event with free canned water (yes, they are putting water in cans now). The NFT event terrified me, it’s called Fluf and is going on all week. I like to say that the numerous podcasts I’ve listened to and articles I’ve read about NFTs have taught me something, but when Arthur and I walked into the Fluf area I was thoroughly confused. We left quickly.
The day was ahead of us and the sun was beating down, we proceeded to drive around Austin and see the river and other beautiful areas. Come the afternoon, we were antsy. I look to my inbox, a place where emails get lost and important pieces blend in with every other junk email. But I found it, the prized VIP invitation to the Patreon “Works In Progress” event.
So, what was the event exactly? We were unsure, but from my understanding Patreon brought a bunch of artists that use their platform and created their own private showcase. Madison McFerrin, the EMMIE Music Magazine cover star of spring 2021, graciously invited us on her guest list. The event was at Cheer Up Charlie’s, which is a popular venue in Austin, with the stage outside and the bar inside (free drinks and food for VIP guests). We arrived just in time to see Madison McFerrin play, her voice was beautiful and it felt incredibly rewarding to see her perform. She was the first of many artists that I interviewed remotely during the pandemic and to see her live and meet her after her set was life changing.
It was a great night and we danced and sang along to Pussy Riot’s DJ set after. The night was a beautiful start to the week that we just had to return the next day to see Magdalena Bay. Maybe we were just exhausted from the heat and walking around all day, but we left after their set. Magdalena Bay still rocked the house and the space was even more crowded than the night prior (although there was no more free drink or food but we managed to find a collection of food trucks that made it okay).
Our start to SXSW was a success and we have much more coming for all you dedicated readers. Today is Tuesday, March 15. We have some interviews scheduled and a whole lot of photos to take. Make sure to check out our Instagram and Twitter for more updates on the shows we attend and people we meet.