SXSW: Diary of a South-By virgin, Day Four
I terrible thing occurred to me last night: I’ve been in Texas four days and I’ve yet to eat any barbecue. No brisket, no ribs, no steak. And this is after going to a number of events held at steakhouses. It’s the one thing every SXSW veteran agreed that I should do, and I’ve somehow snaked my way through Austin barbecue-free. My fears that I’m doing this festival all wrong are apparently well-founded.
I mentioned my unfortunate lack of brisket-ingesting to some of my fellow fest-goers, and they agreed it’s pretty much my fault for the oversight. Hopefully Austin’s famous fare won’t go the way of the free cocktails I’m supposed to get each day with my badge. Day Four and I’ve still yet to redeem one. Who even am I anymore?
The schedule here has been incredibly intense, with interviews, screenings, panels and parties taking place all the time at different spots around town. At this point, my blisters have their own blisters. What would be great is something small and powerful to speed myself around town. Enter the ingenious folks behind URB-E, a brand new compact electric personal vehicle, which I found at Indiegogo’s SXSW lounge. The speedy little devil goes up to 15 miles per hour and can travel 20 miles on a single charge and folds up for easy carry. They let me take it for a spin, most people were mastering it a lot faster, but at least we can all laugh at me in this video:
Speaking of getting around, I had one of my weirder interview experiences talking to Dave Franco for his new film, “Neighbors.” Due to a lack of quiet places to have our chat — the party atmosphere is an all-day thing here — and a growing army of screaming fans waiting outside, Franco and I were plopped in the back of an SUV and driven around the neighborhood for a while. Only one problem, though: Those fans caught on before we could even get to the car, and I got a small taste of Beatlemania. But I’m pretty sure those girls who took my picture and told me they loved me thought I was someone else.