SXSW 2015 Recap

2015 LiveMom SXSW Wrap Up

Wow. We’ll definitely need more than a week to recover from our 2015 South by Southwest. We didn’t have a wristband nor badge, our kids were off for Spring Break, but we still packed in a whole lot of fun! Here’s how our week went:

Friday, March 13th:

Wanted to take my kid to SXSW Create, but decided instead to get ready for our weekend road trip instead. Went with a friend after the kid was home with dad to the Do512Epic! Interactive Party and heard Delta Spirit, Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath and Holiday Mountain. We took the MetroRail to the Saltillo Station, and even managed to get home relatively early, since we knew we needed to pace ourselves. The Park and Ride option on MetroRail, especially early during SXSW, is a good way to go if you are heading somewhere near one of the stops. Just make sure to leave extra time to get your ticket at the station. I’ve found it always takes a few tries to successfully get my pass. The train home was pretty full at 11ish.

Brownout was a great way to start off our 2015 SXSW.
Brownout was a great way to start off our 2015 SXSW.

I headed out of town for a few days to a dude ranch with my parents and son (more on that to come). I had some serious FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) seeing friends have such a great time at Interactive, so I decided to turn in early on Tuesday so I could attempt the KGSR Broadcasts on the first day, Wednesday. My husband agreed to work from home that morning since my early riser (child) didn’t want to go with me.

Wednesday, March 18th:

I set my alarm for 5:30am (which is huge for me, since it was Spring Break and I’m not a morning person) and managed to get myself out of the house and down to the W by 6am. I easily found street parking at Republic Square Park and paid the few dollars to park until 1pm. The lineup for the first day was impressive, which might explain why I ended up standing in line until 9am for Milky Chance. I learned that people started showing up at 3:30am for the show, which was way earlier than I was willing to wake up. I probably would have gotten in for the first bands if I had arrived at 5 or 5:30am. I was happy to have a chance to hear the last three bands, especially James Bay, who was a favorite of mine from last year’s ACL.

James Bay made the early morning mostly worth it.
James Bay made the early morning mostly worth it.

I wasn’t the only one up early that day. Catherine went on KXAN with the Not-Its to talk about the Family Music Meltdown, which was moved indoors and then outdoors because of changing weather conditions. Click on the image to watch the segment.

Catherine KXAN

Thankfully, the weather was gorgeous, parking was easy and the bands kept everyone moving and smiling. (Click on any of the images below to see a bigger version.)

Thursday, March 19th

My son and I headed out to the Fader Fort for the MyMusicRx Kids Show. The nice part about going to a show early in the morning is that I scored parking along the northbound IH-35 access road and about 3rd Street. After getting a wristband and waiting for the doors to open (thankfully, it was a little late, because we were, too), my son made a beeline for the bandana decorating station.

2015 SXSW MyMusicRx

I ran into several friends at the show, some who had been before and mentioned that this was one of their favorite events of SXSW. There was a huge lineup, which meant that each band played a song or two. The bands were not necessarily “kid bands”, which made it even more of a draw for the adults who had a rare chance to see bands like Best Coast, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and even The Zombies.

2015 SXSW MyMusicRX Collage
MyMusicRx Kids Show at Fader Fort
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I think my kid was still worn out from the six hours he spent at the Meltdown the day prior, so I was grateful that my mom picked him up at Plaza Saltillo for an afternoon of fun so I could go do some day shows. I was also thrilled to keep my great parking spot! I headed to the Big Picture Media Showcase at Blind Pig to see Fictionist and then went asking around at the Driskill about South Bites (the food truck park set up specially  for SX) before realizing it was on Driskill Street, not at The Driskill. Whoops! So, after having trouble pulling Maps up on my phone (always good to have printouts in these cases), I caught Francisco the Man at the 101x Broadcasts and then walked down to South Bites for a delicious lobster roll from Garbo.

No cardboard pizza for this girl.
No cardboard pizza for this girl.

Then, I headed back to Blind Pig to see The Suffers and Night Riots before needing to head back to pick up my kid. I was sad to miss the Do512 Family Picnic, but glad to get the chance to see The Suffers while I was downtown.

2015 SXSW Suffers
The Suffers. As much as you hear about and see lines during SXSW, I walked right into this showcase and was in the front row for the Suffers for their 4pm show on Thursday.

I would have wanted to catch Spoon at the free Auditorium Shores show, but I had an indoor soccer game, and then the following day (Friday), I promised my son we would skip music, much to his excitement, so it was a low key day.

Saturday, March 21st

It was good that I didn’t plan anything for Friday, since I hurt my ankle at soccer and had a hard time walking (talk about bad timing!) But, again, my FOMO overcame my good sense, so I went to bed somewhat early, in the hopes of making it into the final day of the KGSR Broadcasts at the W. On Saturday, the music starts at 8am instead of 6am, so I made it down by 6:30am. I realized my parking spot from Wednesday would probably be gone because of the Farmers’ Market, so I parked at City Hall for $10 (have tried this some years and there was no public parking, so perhaps this just worked because of the Farmers’ Market? Either way, I was excited to have a spot for my car all day for that price!)

The line was much shorter than Wednesday and I got to “sleep in” an extra half hour, so I was feeling pretty good. The venue didn’t open until 10 minutes or so before the show, so we still had to wait in the rain for a good few hours, so I was glad to have both my poncho and my umbrella. I brought my Kindle and read my friend Catherine’s new book while in line. I was so relieved that when the line started moving, I made it in, got my free taco and even got a seat! This seemed like SXSW luxury, especially after standing in line most of the show on Wednesday.

Made it into the KGSR Broadcasts, got a seat, taco and heard some great bands. A SXSW venue with outlets to recharge your phone in between sets, nice bathrooms, and a full bar for mimosas? Cheers to that!
Made it into the KGSR Broadcasts, got a seat, taco and heard some great bands. A SXSW venue with outlets to recharge your phone in between sets, nice bathrooms, and a full bar for mimosas? Cheers to that!

I had plenty of time at the W to plan my next move. As soon as the show was over, I headed straight to the iHeart Austin day show at Maggie Mae’s. I made it just in time to hear Max Frost’s last song. Unlike most of the shows I saw during SX, this one must have been running on time. I headed to the Convention Center after that to get some tacos from Chi’lantro, check out Flatstock and charge my phone. I always want to buy everything at Flatstock, but since I knew I would be walking in the rain the rest of the day, I resisted the urge.

I then headed back to Buffalo Billiards to hear The Vantage, an Austin band who was playing the 101x Broadcasts. Then, I walked down to the Waterloo Records Day Shows and caught The Church before one of the bands I most wanted to hear at SX: Alvvays.

2015 SXSW Alvvays
Alvvays performing at the Waterloo Day Shows on Saturday.

From there, I went across the street and caught Hollis Brown at the Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion. My early wakeup then caught up with me, and so I headed back to my car and home for the night.

Sunday, March 22nd:

Because of the weather, we moved our second show, Rock + Chalk, to Sunday, and boy, were we glad we did! The weather was perfect and we couldn’t have wrapped up SXSW and Spring Break with a better afternoon! Thanks to the thousands of you who came out, to all the amazing chalk artists, to all our sponsors and of course, to the musicians! (Click on any of the images below to see a bigger version of the great photos Sarah Siller Photography took for us.)

Hope you had a wonderful Spring Break and SXSW! Now…who else is ready for a vacation from our vacation?

About Nicole Basham 793 Articles
A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 10-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau's words, her mission is to "suck out all the marrow of life", or in her son's words, to cultivate in him a love of "advenchers".

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