ay 4 was definitely a recovery day. I turned off all wake up alarms and distractions the night before and slept until my body deemed it OK to wake up. Have to at least get one of those full sleeps in if you’re doing the SX 10 day gauntlet. Today there weren’t any must see speakers/panels, so I recovered and adult-ed until the late afternoon when I finally made it back into SXSW.
However, the Domination Team (#domteam) always has people out. Many of them hit up various breakfasts and brunches, especially the Ludacris brunch sponsored by Choose ATL at Maggie Mae’s.
Others of the #domteam took some time to watch the TV show premiere of “Dear White People” at Zach Theater sponsored by Netflix. The first 2 episodes were screened (30 minutes each) followed by Q&A with the cast and director.
As the day led to afternoon, #domteam began descending on the VISA Everywhere Lounge in Easy 6th (East 6th street), that held panels/speakers about innovation in small business, all over a significant spread of food, drinks and swag. The final #domteam meetup points for the evening was at Concreate Cowboy sponsored by Betches/CapGenius and at Rustic Tap sponsored by Media Temple. Betches/CapGenius took the award for most ridiculously fantastic drink with their Texas sized gallon tin cups for gianormous Moscule Mule drinks! Media Temple held it down with music, socializing/networking, drinks, and of course, bottomless tacos. Between it all, the #domteam headed into the night buzzed for action!
I finally enter the picture in middle of the day/night transition. I first hit C-Boys for a city of Lafayette sponsored crawfish boil. I love the experience of eating crawfish, but I really just can’t afford to have spicy, slimy, smelly hands for the rest of the night, so I pass on food and to the next spot.
Twitch streaming service, popular for its video game streaming, and Reddit teamed together to host 4 days of events at club Rio. Caught a folk band there playing, but most their main events/speakers had occurred earlier in the day.
From there, I took part in Capital Factory / Amazon’s annual Startup Crawl, where about 20-30 startup companies in downtown Austin open up their doors to the public and throw simultaneous mixers/parties. Attendees walk around downtown Austin, hopping to different spots enjoying various food, drinks, networking, and learning more about the startups and their hip designed offices. I hit Indeed (recruiting software) first and their office with a beautiful view of downtown Austin from the 20th floor of their building. I drop in a few other spots, including Duo Security who has a big canvas of an Austin map from Google Maps that highlights the location of all their clients, and The British Embassy, who showcase their startup businesses in town for SXSW. I finish my part in the Startup Crawl at the German Haus, where I have a drink and some Texas/German fused BBQ; yes, there was obviously BBQ bratwursts!
As the sun completely sets and night begins, the #domteam hops between the following parties/shows:
- WeDC with DJ Jazzy Jeff
- Chose ATL with Jermain Dupri and Rich Homie Quan
- Amplify Philly with DJ Jazzy Jeff and DJ Aktive
- Samsung Next with Busta Rhymes and Kid Capri
- Mazda, SPIN, and VIBE with Robert Glasper, Keeper, Tameca Jones, Mobley, Keeper, Cut Chemist, Bilal, and more.
- Capital One at Antone’s with Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears
This is where SXSW really tests one’s ability to grateful for what they have, as nearly all these headlining acts play at the same time and all are going to hit capacity, so you can really only choose one, maybe 2 if you’re lucky. #sxswtips
The city showcases have surprisingly filled the gaps where companies like Spotify, Fader, Samsung, Bud-light, Yahoo and others would normally have parties with big name guests. There’s no denying attendees leave these parties with a positive impression of the city, even if they were only there for the late night party/show. It also helps the city showcases had open bars, keeping attendants happy, spamming social media about the events, and providing energy to the event. Open bars and headline shows are an investment in experiences for attendees the ROI in branding, buzz, and positive PR cannot be understated!
The #domteam rocks representation in all of these major parties. I hit the Choose ATL party and caught a significant portion of Jermaine Dupri’s DJ set. It was absolute FIRE; definitely the first time SXSW so far I found myself jumping around in a near mosh pit of people. Wont’ be the last.
Next I went to Amplify Philly, who had lines wrapped around their event hours before their show even started! Although the venue was too small to let in everyone who tried, those who were lucky enough to get in were blessed with one of the best party DJs around, Philadelphia native DJ Jazzy Jeff! To top it off, and in clever Philly fashion, mini philly cheesesteaks were catered at the event! Definitely a creatively planned and well executed event for #AmplifyPhilly and their first chess move onto the big stage of sxsw. If they return for 2018, the buzz they created will definitely require a bigger space!
After #AmplifyPhilly, I head to close out my night at Mazda/Spin/Vibe’s showcase with Robert Glasper headlining. I caught a few of the local acts earlier in the evening at Mazda/Spin/Vibe, including Keeper, Mobley, and Tameca Jones who are some of my local favorites coming to a national stage near you!. Tameca Jones even had drones flying high around downtown circling her show; quite sure most people thought UFOs had come to beam people up to a secret show.
The headliner, Robert Glasper, though not well known in the top 40 music world of most people, probably gave one of the best live band improv performances I have ever seen. He had a 6 piece, all-star band and each band member could play several instruments! The bad led by Glasper played known songs, but even more significantly, they created and performed new songs on the spot. They even brought out several guests singers, including Bilal and Christian Scott (known for work with Kendrick Lamar), and a few rappers. Robert Glasper doesn’t perform music, he makes music! After Glasper’s 2+ hour set ended, it was nearly 2am and we called it a night.