SXSW day one: Oh the insanity | Bleader

SXSW day one: Oh the insanity

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I have no idea whos even playing here.
  • I have no idea who's even playing here.
I sat out the last couple of SXSWs, but I've been coming down here off and on for almost a decade and a half—and in that time, the festival has grown exponentially. I'm at beloved dive bar Beerland right now, and across the street Whole Foods has taken over an entire parking lot to set up food tables and I think a stage. The number of iPhones being used all at once reportedly has AT&T's mobile Internet service on the verge of a meltdown. Next door there's a showcase for some company I've never even heard of, and the line to get in was half a block long at two in the afternoon. The traffic situation makes driving through lower Manhattan seem like a breeze by comparison. To give you some idea, I just ran into Bubbles from the perpetually entertaining @StripperTweets, and she says that as recently as a few years ago it was possible to hold a wedding in Austin on the Monday of SXSW, including hotel rooms for guests. Suggest that to anyone in Austin these days and they will laugh.

I also ran into Chunklet honcho Henry Owings, who flew in from Atlanta this morning to speak on a panel and is flying back in just a few hours—an itinerary I'm sure a lot of people here to work will envy greatly. Currently he's in the middle of designing the Codeine box set that the Numero Group is putting together. He promises that the music is absolutely mind-blowing.

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