News SXSW 2010: Day One

So this is the first up close experience of SxSW, and first impressions? Intense. So many venues, so many bands, so much incredibly loud music. Just walking out onto 6th street around noon today, one is barraged with loud music from every street corner.

As the day goes on, more and more people flood the streets. It becomes slightly overwhelming, what does one do during the day, how do you find out where people are playing day time parties, showcases, at clothing stores and record shops? It’s all there if you look hard enough, but it is incredibly easy to get distracted.

Wandering through the streets, attempting to get a grip on this city, not just the festival, is very difficult. What would this city be like without SxSW, what is the point of view of the city? It’s not apparent today, and probably won’t be for the rest of the festival. It’s almost like Indie Rock has taken over the city, inundated it with its ethos and aesthetic.

The one thing not really pleasant about this festival, though most of it is incredible, is the sound level. These venues are loud! It almost seems unnecessary, but it does edify why there are gumball machines filled with earplugs at every venue. David from French Horn Rebellion remarked that it’s like every venue is aware that they are competing with the venue next door so they turn up their volume, and since everyone continues to do that it just turns into a din of noise that can sometimes be unpleasant.

However, forgiveness is quick, mostly because there are just so many venues with so much excellent music.

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