News SXSW 2010: Day Three

Day three, Saturday, might be the hardest day for a couple of reasons. After two days of just full tilt going, you are dead. Like walking Zombie dead. Every muscle in your body hurts from walking and standing and drinking, but you still have a whole day and night. However, it’s the last day so you want to suck every single second from this day and really experience it. You already feel like an old hat, giving directions to people who look lost. (‘Beauty Bar? Oh that’s on Red River above 6th, but in an alley so you’ve got to look for it.’) It’s like you are a native, but only a native of SxSW, certainly not Austin. It’s also obviously the last time to see some of these bands, so there is a sense of urgency in some people’s faces. Paradoxically, there were no endless lines; no venues that you just couldn’t get into, except miniscule ones like Head Hunters, where Peelander Z play at one in the morning, but that’s another story. This isn’t to say that there aren’t massive amounts of people wandering the streets, there are, but it’s not as much of a frenzy as last night.

This is also the time when you begin to call the festival South By, and want to kill yourself a little bit each time you slip. SxSW is such a complicated festival; bands come from all over the world for just a little more exposure. You can see in some of the artists that play in the street and in the smaller venues, that on some level they believe that if you just get to South By [ugh] you will make it. It’s a little bit sad that way. However, there are so many musicians hanging out with their friends that they make on tour, old and new, that it cannot help but feel like a community of artists in a funny, nearly corporate way.

As one of the workers in the Convention Centre said to us as we were preparing to brave the freezing cold, with the heavy bags under our eyes, and running on far to little sleep and far too much caffeine: ‘But it was a great experience, wasn’t it?’ Yes, it was. We in the media industry really can’t complain. Sure, our jobs are tough, the hours are long, the pay is minimal, but we get to do something that we love and above all, that is fun. That’s pretty awesome. And the experience? Yes, well worth it.

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