The day unexpectedly started out by being hooked up with a wristband and photo pass (of course for a small-ish fee) that allowed me to enter and photograph officially sanctioned shows at SXSW. Shows I most likely would never been able to see without it. However, I have to admit, a good 50% or more of the music I truly loved occurred at free day parties that required nothing more than my ID (so I could drink the free booze… yes please!).
A good tip for the future to anyone who doesn’t necessarily want to spend $200+ for a wristband, there’s more than enough day parties to keep you busy and at night you can still pay at the door for some great shows. Was it worth it anyway? HELL YES, if for no other reason than I was able to be in the photo pit up close and personal to shoot some of my favorite musicians. Seeing Fiona Apple, Sharon Van Etten, The Alabama Shakes and Andrew Bird all in one night was worth every penny.
To make it quick, this is how my first 48 hours went down:
Found a killer parking spot, waited in line, got Hype Hotel (free venue) wristband, waited in another line, got Purevolume house (another free venue) wristband, sweated in the hot sun (the only truly hot day I was there), ate a bit, drank a coffee, charged my phone on a FedEx representative’s “charging coat”, met a couple new people, free drinks, free nachos, picked up friend from airport, attempted to check into hotel and was denied at fault of hotel, kicked out on butt, payed outlandish price for different hotel, woke up early and circled downtown to find parking, parked, went to Purevolume for free cocktail and air conditioning, ran into Seattle friends, Headed to Hype Hotel for a fantastic lineup featuring Little Hurricane, Miniature Tigers, Oberhofer, Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr and more. Why listen to me drone on about what happened when you can look at it for yourselves. Here’s the shots from that first night of musical bliss.