For day one of our time in Austin, it was filled with a bit of manual labor, awesome Tex-Mex food and robots. When we arrived at Austin's airport early yesterday afternoon, we hailed a cab and went straight to the Levis/FADER Trading Post to lend a helping hand. The day mainly consisted of moving boxes around, sorting through pallet after pallet of deliveries and hanging up what can only be called carnival lights. Fortunately, the actual lighting guys stepped in after a while, as I don't believe the Tripwire crew is too skilled in that particular area of work.
After hanging with the production crew for a few hours, it became obvious that everybody involved was truly excited about the Trading Post this year. The space is really coming together and the lineup of performers is quite impressive, guaranteeing those who are attend the festivities a damn good time.
After our failed attempts at hanging carnival lights, it was time for a bit of good ol' Tex-Mex food. Some friends took us out to a spot called Guero's Taco Bar, which from what I've been told is one of the best spots in Austin to grab some grub. I have had my share of Tex-Mex food throughout my life and Guero's definitely lived up to the hype.
With the non-stop schedule coming up when SXSW officially begins on Wednesday, our plan was to call it an early night on Monday. Well... that didn't happen. On our way back, a friend made a detour and took us to a party put on by some kind of software design company for the SXSW interactive festival. After bribing our way in, what we witnessed next still makes me wish I had brought my camera. I can't believe I left it back in my suitcase!
As we walked in to the Elk's Lodge, the location of this tech soiree, the clash of cultures was mind-boggling. Close your eyes and try to visualize an old bar in a room that hasn't been updated since the '60s, with a couple of tables filled with grouchy elderly men playing dominos, surrounded by internet/media types. Not knocking media designers, as I know plenty of cool ones, but these were the types that wore matching coveralls with their company's logo on the back. Again, why did I forget my camera???
As we walked through the door into the next room, well... I am still in shock. This was the robot club room, which did in fact feature a dancing robot that was roaming the dancefloor. I have seen some pretty weird shit throughout my decade-long stretch of SXSW festivals, but that took the cake. Drunk, creepy people dancing with a robot. I wish you all could have been there with me just to see the robot club room. It was truly a phenomenal site.
With my week in Austin already off to this kind of start, I can't wait to see what else is in store as we near the beginning of the SXSW Music Festival. Bring it on!