Hello to my friends at MSAA from South-By-Southwest (SXSW)! This is the second installment of Anna’s Adventures! If you missed part one, you can read it here. Now onto part two….
SXSW is over, another mission accomplished in the Wild, Wild, Southwest. From sweaty dust storms at the FADER Fort to getting lost on the back roads of Willie Nelson’s ranch at 2 AM, there are many more stories to tell. Late-night taco truck dining accompanied by a crescent-moon-lit impromptu band showcase on the side of the road and a four-encore small-bar Prince concert at La Zona Rosa in Austin’s downtown. I’ll say it again this year like I did last, SXSW is not real-life. A year’s worth of events can happen all in one day, or it at least seems as such. There is no time to sleep, or watch one band’s showcase its entire way through. Forever young we become, on sensory overload.
While the festival is generally grueling – it, for some reason, always seems to be worth it.
One of the main reasons for continuing to come to SXSW – for me – is the Heartbreaker Banquet. This year’s Banquet fell on the most gorgeous, sun-drenched, temperate afternoon, and lasted through the most glowing, sapphire breezy-skied, chandeliers in the trees, evening. The Heartbreaker Banquet took place at Willie Nelson’s ranch and it proved to be the oasis and breath of fresh-air festival goers needed to continue on back into the rest of the week of SXSW. The Banquet provided a venue for watching favorite bands and ones that would become new favorites perform inside Willie’s chapel, in his saloon, and out in the wide-open – in front of his World Headquarters. There was nowhere to go, nowhere to run off to, and we were thankful for it.
For me, I had paradise spilling out in front of me everywhere I turned, a photo creating itself everywhere I looked. I didn’t have to work nearly as hard as I’d dreamed of; everyone was at ease. As the sun set over the expanse of the crowd, it was calming and heartwarming to see that our festival had exactly doubled in-size from last year, and so many of my friends were there, performing on our stage. It was a reunion fantastic in-size and in-depth. And, all those who decided to miss it or left early to go watch the Spurs game on TV, really felt like they’d missed something special. They just didn’t know where to find it.
As crazy as the week was, I think about that day and it calms me. What’s the calm without the chaos, what’s the silence without the song, but thinking about it now, I can’t wait to open my eyes and see it all right there in front of me, next year.
Here are a few photos I would like to share