SXSW Music Festival: Amany’s Day 1 Recap

By: Amany Khreis

Station manager Camila and music director Amany at SXSW in Austin, TX.

The first day of South By Southwest Music Festival is already over, and it was exhausting. I got home at midnight and stayed up until 2 a.m. uploading photos and editing them. When I woke up, it felt like my body was throw down a flight of stairs. You do a ridiculous amount of walking in Austin (my phone tells me I got 30 thousand steps in yesterday). You also have a ridiculous amount of fun. Austin is weird.

1. Breakfast at Quickie Pickie

The Original and the Vegan tacos at Quickie Pickie, photo by Amany

Quickie Pickie is awesome. It’s a five minute walk from Camila and I’s Airbnb. It’s super affordable (each taco was $3.50 and the cold brews are $2.50). It’s also really, really good. I highly recommend the Vegan taco, which comes with pickled carrots and cabbage, refried beans and fantastic guacamole.

2. Everything is green

Waller Creek, photo by Amany

The switch from Madison’s snow to Austin’s green threw me off. I kept turning to Camila and freaking out over the weather: the sky was blue, the grass was green, the temperature was perfect. The weather may not be the most exciting thing to happen in Texas this week, but it made me happy.

3. We’re in!

Camila with her music press pass, photo by Amany

After circling around the Austin Convention Center building for quite some time, we finally got our passes, tote bags and headed to the press room to do some very serious work.

4. Off we go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Camila walking across Lake Austin, photo by Amany

Camila and I eventually realized that not much usually happens on the first day of SXSW Music Festival. We then decided to explore the city while we had the chance. After deciding that the Austin Duck tour was not worth it ($80 dollars for the both of us), we decided to make the journey over to Continental Club to watch Madison’s Blue County Pistol perform. We saw a ton of interesting things on the way over…

5. Austin is weird.

Shopping at Personal Vintage, eating a falafel sandwich at a Moroccan food truck and walking past fancy outlet malls, photos by Amany

Our trek to Continental Club was a long one with multiple detours. We stopped by a vintage store called Personal Vintage. Camila bought a scarf and I bought orange sunglasses (it’s very sunny in Austin). We then stopped by a food truck right by Personal Vintage and split a falafel sandwich, where a bird landed near us and watched us eat. Next up was an insane outlet mall – I’ve never seen anything like it. We couldn’t help but make our way into Reformation.

6. Dale Watson & Blue County Pistol at Continental Club

Blue County Pistol, photo by Amany

We finally made it to Continental Club. We saw weird tech panels, the incredible Dale Watson and local Madison band Blue County Pistol.

7. Uber-ing everywhere and crying

Uber-ing to Howdy Gals X All the Sudden’s Kickoff Party, photo by Amany

It was reaching the point in the night where things were getting busy. We headed off to nap real quick before our interview and photoshoot with Alexalone. We also began to realize that the Uber prices were seriously going to catch up to us by the end of the week. I will, in fact, be starting a kickstarter…

8. Alexalone & Pope (& Bean!) at Howdy Gals x All the Sudden

Interviewing Alexalone, watching Pope perform, enjoying the All the Sudden venue and hanging out with Bean the dog, photos by Amany

Camila and I had so much fun at All the Sudden. Seriously, such a sick venue. Shout out to Howdy Gals for putting on this event. We loved meeting Bean and chatting with Alexalone!!!

9. New Order’s Beyond the Music

New Order performing at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theatre & Manchester mayor Andy Burnham announcing the launch of Beyond the Music, photos by Amany.

Our last stop of the night was at the Moody Theatre. We watched The Orielles open up for New Order. Both bands absolutely crushed it. Everyone was dancing, the music sounded incredible and the visuals that accompanied it made it even better. Before New Order took the stage to perform hits like “Age of Consent” and “Blue Monday,” the mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, announced the launch of Beyond the Music, a global “change-making” music conference and festival to take place in Manchester in October.

10. The night is over

Austin at night and the Capitol building, photos by Amany

Finally, the night was over. We walked for quite some time through the Austin night before giving up and ordering an Uber home with our phones on 2%. The city was strange but very beautiful. There are sounds and smells at every corner and each one made me feel like I was missing out on something great. We still have six days left here and I already miss it.