Posted by: Madeline's Plate | March 23, 2012

Surviving SXSW

 

Every year Austin is overrun for one week in March. If you live and work downtown, as I do, it’s impossible to escape.

The first half of the week isn’t so bad. SXSW begins with an interactive portion devoted to online start-ups and innovations. These attendees are mostly male, hip geeks (yes, that’s no longer an oxymoron). They’re too stylish to be mistaken for the typical Austinite and are often found in black rimmed glasses.

Mid-week the music festival begins and a demographic shift occurs. The entrepreneurs board their planes back to New York and the Bay Area. In their place arrive droves of hipsters with tight-fitting pants and anachronistic facial hair. Close on the hispters’ heels are lovers of debauchery in every form, united by a desire to enjoy the hundreds of shows, parties and free drinks.

My SXSW stamina is absurdly low for someone in their mid-20’s. I am unwilling to wait in line for 3 hours to drink a free lukewarm PBR and hear an up-and-coming band from Columbus, OH. Call me crazy.

However if you can’t beat them (and you really can’t), join them. I went to an awesome GrubWithUs dinner for Y Combinator alums, hit up some tech parties with a friend from art.sy, and enjoyed a few live bands from one of my native cities. My favorite restaurant in Austin was open for lunch, another lagniappe.

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