"I hid 15 tabs of X in my aspirin bottle, 25 joints with my cigarettes, and $200 worth of blow in the lining of my bra", said a SXSW festival goer who asked to remain nameless. Security was tight at O'Hare International, but just loose enough to let the party through. Even though I had already exchanged cards with 5 "bizsters" on the plane, proving that this is business, it is also obvious that the annual Austin based conference is the music business' excuse for spring break.
This will be my 5th trip to SXSW and my first on the business side of things as opposed to performing. I am fully equipped with laptop, cell phone, hand made business cards, and of course my band schedule. Tonight I will try to squeeze in 13 bands in 5 hours at 9 separate clubs. Highlights include The Dwarves, OKGO, Migas, and JR Brown. Also on today's agenda is a series of music panels SXSW has dubbed "crash courses". Fellow Chicagoans, Nan Warshaw (Bloodshot) and Amy Lombardi (Call Girl PR) will be sharing their expertise, along with a top-notch list of managers, agents, publishers, radio programmers, distributors, and lawyers.
So here goes, it's SXSW 2002 and whether you're here to press the flesh or to simply get wasted and see some of today's best live acts, it's always an endurance test that can prove fruitful, entertaining and down right exhausting.
"Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts as we begin our descent to Austin, TX."
Source: Billy Spunke (THICK Records)