My most recent trip to Austin was number three for me.
All visits have been consecutive, and all for the festival that takes over the city. SXSW is kind of a beast… I mean, it’s more than a week long, and brings in thousands of people to the live music capital of the world. There’s so much to see and so much to do, how do you fit everything in? Year after year, I’ve found it impossible to tackle everything on my list, there’s simply just not enough time. BUT… each year it just keeps getting better and better even if original plans don’t end up working out.
I’ve started looking back at each experience. The thing I’ve learned about festivals is even though they may be held in the same place year after year, I’ve never come close to having the same experience twice.
2013 was for pleasure. It was my first time visiting Austin, and I think I booked my flight a week before the music portion of SXSW was to begin. Last minute? Definitely. I love a good last minute trip though. I threw myself into it, not really knowing anything about Austin or how SXSW works. That was probably the best way for me to learn the ropes. I explored, got my bearings, and heard some great music. Most of the shows I saw were at a little underground pub on 6th Street. A lot of time was spent there. Funny to think that I’ve been back to Austin twice since then and haven’t stepped foot back in the place.
2014 was for work. Julia and I had a full schedule… people to meet, bands to shoot… this was my first time covering the festival for the blog, so again, lots to learn. Thankfully Jules was a pro at this point, and being alongside someone who knows the city was awesome. We spent most of our time on South Congress, catching shows at Hotel San Jose, dipping out to Guero’s to grab a bite when we were hungry, and of course, picking up a trinket or two from Uncommon Objects and Feathers Vintage. This was also the trip where co-workers became solid buddies. The crew and I formed a friendship that’s here to stay, and the shared experience on that trip to SXSW brought us all together.
SXSW 2015… I liked you. You wore me out, but you’ve been the best year thus far, hands down. The people, man, it’s all about the people. I couldn’t have asked for better company this year. The FP team I traveled with are some of my favorite ladies, and reuniting with Julia since she became an Austin local was such a treat. I got to explore the east side of the city which I had barely touched the previous two years, and FP had their first showcase. I got to hang around a couple extra days after all the hard work was over, and in doing so, I was able to bring home even more memories.
The destination might remain constant, but the experience is ever changing. It’s never the same twice around, and for me, those gained experiences is what life is all about.
Check out more from SXSW 2015!