SXSW: Diary of a South-By virgin, Day Two
Not to it or jinx anything, but I think I might be getting the hang of this. On Day Two of SXSW, I hit the pavement in earnest, getting to know downtown Austin the best way I know how: inefficiently stomping around from one venue to the next. The layout of the neighborhood is now etched in my tired, sore feet.
To help with my virgin status, I teamed up with a friend experiencing his own first: a trial run using Google’s infamous Glass. I got to have a go with the gadget, and it’s amazing how easily you can take a photo completely by accident. While critics have suggested strapping a piece of tech on your face distances you from human interaction, we found exactly the opposite. Wearing the Glass means talking to a lot more people than you would normally, though most just want to ask, “Is that a real one or a fake?”
The Music segment of the conference doesn’t kick off until next week, but its influence can be felt everywhere. SXSW did start off as a music festival, after all, with the Interactive and Film components coming later. And though there’s still a few days left to focus on those, the bands have already started showing up, with live music spilling out of bars and buskers set up on most corners. And then sometimes performances will sneak up on you, like at HBO’s Game of Thrones party Friday night, where one patron asked a bartender, “Who’s the guy rapping onstage?” To which he replied with a smile, “Common.”
So far so good. And I think I deserve a little credit for all the times I’ve refrained from making “everything’s bigger in Texas” jokes, but we’ll see how long that lasts.