If you're following closely, you'll notice this post popped up significantly later than yesterdays. SXSW is a bit like a Hunter S. Thompson adventure, you don't just party at the end of the night, you'll go from drunk to Sober to drunk somewhere between 2 and 4 times a day. Don't even bother coming before you're 21, most of the venues aren't all ages and it's not apple juice they're handing out for free.
I'd imagine the experience is quite different coming as a music fan vs. industry person. I'm not sure it's even really worth attending to unless you have business. Badges are steep, lines are long ( so many lines yesterday, and even time spent in the wrong ones) and while the venues are cool, you're going to miss a lot of what you'd initially hoped to see. There's a reason things like Coachella, Sasquatch, Lolla, etc. have risen to the status they have.
Expensive meals and deals are everywhere, it's a mix of industry goons and people who have no business being even in the vicinity of any of this. Lots of people just around for the party vibe, it feels a bit like Mardi Gras with a darker element. You want it to be about the great bands but it's equally heavily fueled by massive brands, money, and average joes looking for free booze.
It's not all doom and gloom though, the weather is amazing, the food is great, and of course the music you can catch is killer. Robert Delong delivered a bass pounding set at Waterloo Records (which is the timbuktu of destinations). Those of you going to his Kegs and Eggs this saturday are in for a real treat from the former local. Rapper Kendrick Lamar played a guest filled set at the Spotify house, a converted hay-bale hanger where the beat could cut out and the crowd could shout every word without him saying a thing. John Talabot dropped killer grooves DJing at the HYPE HOTEL (where you can pick up free Doritos tacos all day long) definitely catch his set at Sasquatch if you're headed to the Gorge in May. Reignwolf popped up for a surprise set at the Crave Online party where he delivered his usual brand of over the top sloppy shreddage. It was punk band Single Mothers who stole the show with incredible banter including hits like "We're going to fuck your fucking faces" and "this song is called baby, it's about BABIES". It's 2pm gotta get out of this hotel and catch some tunes.
Check Back tomorrow for more opinions you didn't ask for!