Ah, SXSW. Each year the music industry and their star pupils make the trek to the music festival in order to try and create a sense of phenomenon around a band or bands. At one point SXSW was something to travel to, a pilgrimage by the record collecting faithful to a mecca where music was king and yet it served all of us. These days SXSW is a different beast and some wonder if the trek is even worth it. Having been to SXSW several times, and even played there with my old band, I’ve devised an easy ten step program that allows you to experience SXSW without ever leaving your city.
Spend a week sleeping on your floor or the most uncomfortable piece of furniture you own.
Wear only band t-shirts and a scarf all week and stock your fridge with plenty of PBR.
Go to a “cool” record store blindfolded and pick up 25 random records that you neither know nor care about. Go home and play two of those records. Then play one album from a band you like, then two more of the random pile.
In between those plays, turn a random radio station up incredibly loud and try to have a conversation.
Find a hipster douche bar and sit around listening to people talk. Preferably about music but really any topic will create the effect.
Buy a lot of cheap BBQ (this doesn’t actually exist during SXSW) and other foods. Then double the amount you spent and light that money on fire. Eat only after midnight and until feeling queasy.
Promise your friend you’ll go see their band and then skip out to go see a bigger artist playing the same night.
Go to a neighborhood in your city that you’ve never been to and make lots of noise so the locals give you serious stink eye.
Draw a badge with crayons. Then burn a hundred dollar bill. Then burn four more of them. Use the badge to try to get into local shows or bars only to be turned away.
The following week make sure you tell all your friends about the experience using a condescending attitude and phrases like “It was amazing” and “This year wasn’t as good as last year”.
(For extra credit, make up a story about how you got drunk with a member of your favorite new band. When your friends say they don’t know who that is, roll your eyes and say “nevermind”.)
There you go! A simple ten-step program to experience SXSW without the hassle of actually going.