photo by Rachel Staggs
Today’s post comes from musician Kim Field of The Stargazer Lilies. She and her band (including her husband) made their way across the country to perform at the SXSW Music Festival this year.
My first SXSW- Austin, Texas. What a trip. It began with a 26 or so hour straight through drive with my band mates (drummer and husband/guitarist). We (The Stargazer Lilies) were so happy to head south from the seemingly endless winter of the Pocono Mountains of North Eastern Pennsylvania.
Upon arrival in Austin we were greeted with the smells, sounds and feelings we had been longing for all winter. Birds, Dry air, Sun- Happiness. It was the absolute perfect time of year to visit- mid March.
We lucked out with our Airbnb house in the Hyde Park area. It was a super affordable way for us to feel at home and have a retreat from the madness of the downtown scene.
The owner was so kind and even left a bouquet of stargazer lily flowers on the dining table for us. We could walk to nice restaurants and gourmet markets. We had a beautiful back yard (complete with a garden cat).
Our goal was to see as many bands as possible and play an awesome 35 minute set Saturday night for our label showcase. The lengths musicians go to. Some may say it’s insanity.
Rachel from Experimental Aircraft
Tip #1: Bring a stash of pocket tissues for those times the toilets are without paper. You’ll be glad I warned you.
Tip #2. Carry in your bag- hand soap. I was shocked at the lack of it at SXSW. Purell won’t cut this grime.
Tip #3: Don’t try to be fancy with your shoes. Where a comfortable pair of boots. I found it very dirty/dusty and you are on your feet all day. I had to wipe my boots down each day and was so grateful I made the choice to wear them.
We were so fortunate to have good friends (All In The Golden Afternoon) who are local Austinites. We got the whirlwind tour of some of the more modern enthusiast neighborhoods, hit an outdoor vintage flea market on South Congress and also some pretty awesome restaurants. Takoba– great Mexican brunch.
Tip #4: Try this drink at Takoba! Sparkling white wine, Pimm’s, cucumber spear.
Quattro Gatti– beautiful authentic Italian, nice outdoor seating and just off the path of madness so you can escape for a few minutes for a civilized dining experience.
Tip #5: Map out the shows you want to see before you arrive. (Something to do on your long drive/flight to Austin). Keep this handy in your bag so that you have a better chance of seeing all the shows you really want to.
You’ll also avoid what happened to us…about 15 of us running like mad to see Deerhunter only to find out that it was “Dear hunter”. We knew something was up when we arrived to no line and a crowd that seemed a bit more like hip hoppers than dream poppers. Bummer.
The Stargazer Lilies
Stay tuned for part two, where Kim shares the journey home!
All photos courtesy of Kim Field
*except portrait of Kim Field by Rachel Staggs
Related links: SXSW 2013: A Visual Diary on 35mm Film