Justin’s Winners and Sinners of South-by 2013

In the wake of SXSW, here are some winners, sinners, and things I’m thinking about for next year.


Cazzette at Spotify Live The Hype Hotel at SXSW 2013

Hybrid-Entry Official Venues

Music badges and wristbands had more value. Meeting up with friends in various states of badgelessness and RSVP got easier at venues like Hype Hotel, Viceland, & Spotify House

Car2GO IMG_20121004_181100


After the mid-conference fleet overhaul in 2011, and car communication blackouts in 2012, Daimler did it right this year. The cars were more reliable and available.

Lytro #sxsw https://pictures.lytro.com/lytrosxsw/stories/112213 BMCC

Camera Makers

Lytro gave away cams and talked about their technology during interactive. Their DP Eric Cheng gave us a future-glimpse proof of concept for light field video. Meanwhile, during Film, Black Magic Design staff and gurus were on hand almost daily to show off and talk about Davinci Resolve and the Black Magic Cinema Camera. I went outside with filmmaker Josh Diamond (of The Diamond Brothers) to try out wide angle lenses on the recently-in-shipping MFT mount version. Too bad Black Magic waited a couple weeks to announce the 4k cam at NAB instead of SXSW. Canon threw a party via a PR firm, but weren’t as immersive as last year, with Ron Howard and the Imagin8ion projects.

Austin Convention Center Vampire Weekend at the Radio Day Stage

Austin Convention Center

The lounges were rarely full (except with free snacks & beer). Gotta hand it to Scott Wilcox’s team at SXSW for putting together fast and reliable Wi-Fi coverage. Also, badgeholders got to see acts like Vampire Weekend in the intimacy of the Radio Day Stage without the lines of Stubb’s, Mohawk, etc.


SXSW Interactive Campus Shuttle

Venue Distances

When it comes to Music, the entire downtown is the venue, and you can find space to play or listen if more space is needed. Film is harder though, and not just any space makes a good viewing experience. With the big turnout Film has, not getting into a screening downtown made for hard decisions on whether or not to make the haul to Slaughter or The Village Alamo Drafthouses.

this is Austin Austin bus system tells customers bus stop closed for #sxsw in very unique ways.

Capital Metro

They did an ok job, all things considered. The stops were better marked and the drivers were better about announcing detour info. But just like previous years, there weren’t enough Night Owl busses and there weren’t enough UT E-Busses. Revelers trying to get home were packed like sardines. One of the West Campus E-Bus drivers just stopped dropping people off for half of West Campus (perhaps to avoid people trying to get on?).

beer Avocado

Venue and Vendor Hangovers

Food trailers and bars were ready for SXSW this year. Fully stocked, efficient menus, well-staffed, and the commerce flowed. As a local, this comes to bite you in the wake. It was days before Kebabalicious had their felafels back and Cheer Up’s had their full beer selection. Popular add-ons like Avocados and Luxardo cherries were in short supply town-wide.

Oh yes, have some more photos…

We managed to get Wade a nice camera this year, so be sure to check out the slide show in his post as well!