"Cool Story, Bro": 10 observations from SXSW

Just hanging with some locals. (Mike Rich)


  • There exists a place in this great country of ours named Boomland. No, seriously. That's the name.


  • Things like this are sold at Boomland. You should get to one as fast as possible.
  • This is your brain on SXSW: "SOMETHING IS HAPPENING SOMEWHERE AND THERE'S FREE VODKA BEING SERVED AND YOU'RE MISSING IT!" Do your best to fight that voice in your head.


  • No one objects to being filmed. If anything they take the hint and rise to the challenge. I saw multiple photos of a group of topless women doing cartwheels through 6th street. (Think what would happen if Clark Street and 6 corners had a child that had food carts everywhere.)


  • Speaking of toplessness...Chicago, learn from Austin: No plastic bags, breakfast tacos a-plently, the buses cost a dollar, there's no BS food truck legislation and you're allowed to be topless if you want.


  • On that same token, Austin, learn from Chicago: You can be friendly and still walk down the street with some urgency. Have a public transit system that makes sense in reference to how the city is mapped out. 


  • There is no "headliner.".There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of performances taking place during SXSW. Most of them are taking place at the same time. No matter what an artist tells you, there isn't a singular main event at SXSW (...except Prince, who played this year. Prince is a headliner in any city he's in currently at that point and time.)


  • Don't freak out. Before you go to SXSW, you will freak out and try to RSVP to everything. You will attend maybe 1/64th of the things you RSVP for. Know this ahead of time.