SXSW: Day 1
Austin, TX – home of Tito’s Vodka and backdrop for the ever exciting SXSW saw an abrupt change in weather on Thursday evening when the skies parted, releasing an exorbitant amount of water, causing temperatures to drop to the low 50’s. The theme of rain remained consistent at Saturday’s #SXSWet 2012 with showers scattering throughout the city of Austin, varying between slight drizzle and torrential downpour. While the dreary grey clouds and low temperature caught many festival attendees by surprise, the drab conditions did bring out some fab rain gear including this large bucket umbrella sported by Erin – who originally used the item during Halloween as a key component for her jellyfish costume. Not only did Erin look fly, the umbrella kept her completely dry – important and crucial for staying healthy in face of a long week of festivities.
While on the subject of staying well, since it’s likely you’ll remain out and about from start to the end of the day, it’s best if you prepare and stow all the must have essentials in one easy carry-all bag. Hand sanitizer, snacks, umbrella, iPad 2, fingerless gloves and portable Tito’s have personally proven detrimental for surviving SXSW thus far. What’s in your bag?
Despite car trouble, a trip to the dealership and a resulting car rental – I parked my temporary vehicle in East Austin and commenced my Saturday adventure at the Austin Convention Center where I met my friend Holly. Following a brief “catch-up” conversation, we made our way down Rainey St. which had been converted into Google Village – outfitted with an Android House, Developer House, Discovery House, Maps House and Blackberry Lounge – all offering refuge from the onslaught of occasional cloudburst. After visiting a slew of the sites with a couple beverages and rounds of Angry Birds under my belt – I parted with Holly and made my way to Nerds Rock II – uShip House Party and Unofficial SXSWi Kickoff Bash where I united with many familiar faces to enjoy Tito’s Vodka and food from the award winning Austin establishment East Side King. The event featured musical entertainment by Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears + Dale Earnhardt Jr. in addition to trapeze sets, free throw arcade basketball and a Tito’s Smilebooth which entailed a photog free setup with manual clicker and access to images for instant sharing purposes – incredible and one of my favorite details of the already awesome affair. Although a smashing success and a highlight of the evening, I left the uShip party and turned in early after a long day of puddle jumping and walking about.