2016 SXSW CHRONICLES:: DAY 3

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zzzzzzz! Bzzzzzzz!  It’s 8am and people are already hitting me up about knocking out early morning SXSW tasks.  Samsung yet again has a night event, this time with Sia and Elle King, and the wristband distribution line stars building at 5am even though tickets aren’t distributed until 11am.

I make my way to the Samsung line around 10am, jumping in line with a friend holding my spot as a return favor for a favor.  Favor trading is a thing at SXSW; somebody needs to be build an app for that! 

After grabbing the final Samsung wristbands, we bounce around for a bit since we’re unable to slide into the Killer Mike Hangover brunch at Speakeasy.  We end up at one of our favorite defaults, Fast Company day event at Cedar Door, for complimentary lunch and drinks on their patio on a beautiful, sunny 80 degree late morning / early afternoon.

I then head back home with my house guest, taking a complimentary Samsung Ride home. We even hit it off with the driver on the way home, exchange contact information and favors, and earn ourselves our own personal, on-call driver for the rest of the Samsung Ride promotion (ends Tuesday 3/15).  The power of conversation and spreading good vibes continuously returns favor after favor.

sxsw2016.day3.thedownmarket12Meanwhile, other domination team members are enjoying the typical day drinking, eating, and random activities thrown by all the companies throwing promotional events during SXSW.  Spredfast marketing is one of the best, with great food and drink spread, along with massage table and other swag givewayas or activities, all complimentary.  A pair of DJs in the domination team are working and co-hosting an event for the Blendoor Launch party! Several domination team members show up to support, which is not hard considering theirs complimentary food, drink and top shelf music spinning by our domination DJs! 

I hit downtown again myself later in the afternoon.  I start at Maggie Mae’s for the Consumer Technology Alliance (CTA) happy hour for the usual complimentary drinks/food and tech networking (my day-job company is a member of CTA).  From there we hop over to Sprinklr’s happy hour event located in the 26th floor penthouse suite of downtown Austin; needless to say, the view is spectacular.  I have a friend with me who isn’t RSVP’ed to the event; he gets in by the registration desk clerks mistaking the spelling of his name (again, not on the list) with a middle-eastern sounding name.  My friend hesitates for a fraction of a second at being assumed because he’s of east African descent he must have a certain type of name, but then relents just as quick with a head nod and affirming that other name is his, thus getting himself into the party (stereotyping can be used to one’s advantage occasionally!).  The complimentary drinks are OK but hors d’oeuvres are incredibly tasty, so even though it’s a bit early (5pm), I proceed to make this my dinner by making several rounds.  We don’t stick around too long; the event is very swanky and although I can talk the talk about their business, the companies I’m associated with are the Fortune 100 companies that they target.

Meanwhile, other’s on the domination team we’re having their own successes. Des Moines Embassy’s presence gets stronger in their 2nd year at SXSW, and the Domination Team checks out their newly added tech happy hours for 2016.  Also attended is the new URB-E motorized scooter-bike has their launch party.  A handful of dominators even make it to a secret locationsxsw2016.day3.thedownmarket13 event with top model winner and professional celebrity trophy wife, Amber Rose.  I’m not sure the exact event, but we’re also blessed with a dominator dressing up a Del Monte banana; sorry, no Peanutbutter Jelly time reenactment video was found.

As the evening closes in, I head out from Sprinklr with a small group of dominators and make a run at the venues hosting several night events to get an initial check of the lines. CapitalOne House at Antone’s hosting Third Eye Blind has hundreds in the line already before 6pm, and doors don’t even open until 8pm. The We|DC event has only 3 people in line for their own Questlove event; doors also open at 8pm.  Me and another dominator make a trek all the way deep into east Austin to Scoot Inn to checkout Funny or Die’s (FoD) event.  FoD’s free food and drink is over, but they still have a few comedians doing sets and there’s no line. I snap a few photos, connect with my contact their briefly, and then head out.  On the way back, the new Fader Arcade event is distributing wristbands for their events on Monday and Tuesday. It’s only a few minutes before they close, but with zero line we quickly secure our wristbands for their events. 

We finally make it back to the We|DC line where we find a large contingent of the Domination Team already in line.  We have to wait nearly a half hour until 8pm, but the wait is lessened by the team being so thick in the line, joking and socializing. We even have a few who managed to already be in the We|DC event giving us details about the open bar and handing us water bottles over the venue gates. The love and intel in the Domination Team cannot be understated!

sxswday3.thedownmarket4Shortly after 8pm we all descend into the We|DC event at the Public Revival House.  Open bar goes until 9pm and delicious, complimentary food is everywhere!  The opening band, Young Rapids, is pretty good, playing a dreamy, electro-poprock set.  Shortly after, Questlove takes the stage early than expected and turns up the joint with his DJ set. The open, outdoor patio venue coupled with the positive, genuinely joyful party ambiance of the crowd are a perfect setting to Questlove spinning what is basically the soundtrack of our phenomenal SXSW experience.  Questlove’s ability to essentially produce new tracks and beats on the spot during his set and then overlay with various old and new school songs is a beauty to watch and listen.

Meanwhile, another large group from the Domination Team is at the Samsung event where Elle King is opening up for Sia.  The Samsung event has an open bar all night and all food items, no matter how expensive, can be purchased for just a single dollar ($1.00) if you use their fairly new Samsung Pay app.  Elle King soon graces the stage with her strong, soulful yet sassy voice.  From all accounts, she made her fans adore her more and even earned a few new ones.  Around the same time, another event at Cedar Street is hosting Rick Ross.  This event is not free, but at least one dominator managed to get in free, even if they had to wait until 1am for Rick Ross to finally hit the stage.

I am at Questlove event, enjoying the set, but getting an itch to take a risk, as I’ve seen Questlove  sets a few times before during SXSW.  After 30 minutes in, I decide to leave the We|DC  Questlove event and make a run for the Samsung  ElleKing/Sia event a mile away.  During the walk, I’m communicating back and forth with people at Samsung assuring me the line is small and with my wristbands and confidence, I can still get in, even this late.  I make it to the Samsung, flash my purple Samsung wristband acquired early that morning, and get escorted past the line straight inside… just like that, I’m in!  Sia is about 2 songs into her performance of a packed Samsung performance venue; I’m forced to use my selfie stick for the first time of SXSW in order to see most of her performance, as I’m not the tallest person and my late arrival has me unable to dig deeper into the crowd than midway to the stage.  Fortunately, other dominators are right up front and snap several quality photos.  I genuinely enjoy Sia’s performance; songs are built around her strong vocals, so much of her music are like ballads, even when they have a more pop beat.  Adding to the ambiance of her performance are a pair of interpretive dancers in white bodysuits doing various cirque soliel like maneuvers all across the stage.  Also, it turns out I do know a few of her songs, prior to my own belief only moments before arriving.  All in all, I was rewarded for my risky move to hop different events.

After Samsung ends around 11am, dominators still at the We|DC event notify everyone that QuestLove is still on stage DJing and those at Samsung should come through!  Myself and another dominator start fast hiking it back for the mile walk, but then make the executive decision to hop in an empty cab to quickly dart back to the We|DC event.  Cab is a good move, only costing $7, the most money I paid for any one thing that day, but it saves several minutes of time which are reinvested into seeing more of QuestLove who is indeed STILL spinning!  There’s no line at the event so we’re able to slide back in and maneuver our way to the front of the stage, reuniting with several members of the domination team.  

QuestLove closes out strong for his 2.5 hour set, which we’re told is 1.5 hours longer than he was contracted for! Love some QuestLove!  The accomplishment of being able to see QuestLove, leave to see Samsung headliner Sia a mile away, and then come back and see the last 30 minutes of QuestLove’s set again, makes the day another one for the epic list.

QuestLove ends his set around midnight. The domination team sticks around dancing bit longer with the next DJ to use up all the leftover energy harnessed from QuestLove’s set.  We then part our separate ways. Myself and a few others take our usual Samsung Ride home and call it a night by 1am.

SXSW Day 3 Complete!

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