SXSW Dispatch | Planes, shuttles, and feet — Seattle heads to Austin music fest
SXSW Dispatch: Seattle Times contributor Jonathan Zwickel lands in Austin for the SXSW '09, the music fest that has drawn more than 2,000 bands and acts, including more than 30 from the Seattle area. Get live Twitter updates at zwickelicious.
Special to The Seattle Times
AUSTIN, Texas — The vast majority of passengers on the 31-minute connecting flight from Houston to Austin — the self-annointed "live music capitol of the world" — were pilgrims heading to SXSW. Seated toward the back of the plane were several Seattleites, including Barsuk Records publicist Ever Kipp, attending his 10th festival, and two members of Massey Ferguson, a country-rock band making its first SXSW appearance later tonight at 1 a.m.
Next to them was a 19-year-old Chicagoan also attending his first SXSW.
Underage and wary of spending the money for a festival wristband or all-access badge (which can run up to $600), he was unmotivated by notions of sponsored booze and VIP parties, intending instead to soak up as much free music as possible.
Austin Airport is even more dense with attendees, sporting band T-shirts and weird haircuts, clutching guitar cases and iPhones. A combo of old-timers played country blues by the baggage claim.
Talk in the Super Shuttle was of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland vs. the upstart annex in New York vs. Seattle's EMP, which, contrary to hometown criticism, receives high marks.
On Sixth Avenue in downtown Austin, conditions are paradisiacal: 78 degrees; clear blue, cloudless sky; music absolutely everywhere. And it's only 6 p.m.
Jonathan Zwickel: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
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