Thursday, March 10, 2011

SXSW First Timers Guide #2: What's with all these 'unofficial' Parties?

More SXSW advice from my homegrrrl Rad Jen. I am not going this year, so if you invite me to a SXSW party or showcase, I will forward that invitation to Rad Jen. She can out drink me by a lot. Consider yourself warned.

SXSW First Timers Guide #2: What's with all these 'unofficial' parties? How do I get in? What about the RSVP thing?

Yes, there are a million day and night 'unofficial parties'. Which basically means a line-up of bands/artists and (hopefully) free beer and food - all sponsored by a Magazine/Record Label/Radio Station/Website/Blog/Whatever. Many of these performers will be part of the 'official' showcases at night. Some of them won't be. My experience is the 'parties' are way more fun than most showcases....

The real industry parties are 'badges' only, and you need to secure a hard laminate 'invite' directly from the sponsor. Some of these invites are given out at the convention center. If you are a non-industry 'wristbander' like me, you can send grovelling emails to the sponsor of the party which you really want to go to, and they may mail you an invite. (This used to work with New West records, back when they had the Drive-By Truckers on their roster, and the party to go with it....) I have no idea how to get an invite to Perez Hilton's party, or SPIN magazine, or whatever. Ask your industry contacts. (You will notice showoffs wearing multiple party badges around their necks like trophies.....FWIW).

Conversely, if you DO happen to get your hands on some laminate party invites, don't change your mind and leave them in the hotel room. Bring them with you and GIVE THEM AWAY to someone who looks like they would appreciate them. Make friends and good rock karma!

'FREE' PARTIES with or without RSVP'S
Most of these will be advertised as 'Free' on their websites or give you an RSVP to click. The RSVP is virtually meaningless. No one is going to check your name. It is simply a way for the party giver to call this a private party, and get their temporary liquor license. So yes, RSVP for the hell of it, but the trick here is to GET THERE EARLY. Like, opening time slot. Otherwise you are in a line up for hours when you could be at a different party, drinking.

All venues will stop the lineup at the door when their venue is AT CAPACITY, whether you have an invite or not. This goes for all events - unofficial and official SXSW events. You'll see a guy with the clicker. Why? Because you'll also see fire marshals walking in and out of clubs regularly throughout the festival. No club wants to get shut down. You may not get in, but the good news is that you're not going to die in a nightclub fire in the middle of Texas. That will not happen.

Note which parties are ALL AGES because, guess what? Free + All Ages means a long lineup and kids with nothing better to do than stand in line. Get there early.

Just a reminder, you need your I.D. at all times.
This site does the MAGNIFICENT task of compiling and listing all the 'unofficial' events and parties, including all the RSVP links. It's ONE guy who does all of this! If you run into him, please buy him a drink! This site also allows you to quickly view who is throwing which parties on which day.

More soon,

Rad Jen

If you are going to go to any unofficial parties, you should go to at least one, if not both, of the parties that my colleague over at NineBullets is throwing. Check this shit out:

Glossary - Lonely is a Town.mp3
Buy: Feral Fire (2010)

SXSW Schedule
TUE 15 Hole in the Wall, 8:00pm
WED 16 The Mean Eyed Cat, 4:00pm
THU 17 Sam's Town Point, 11:00pm
FRI 18 NineBullets Party I, Double Down Lounge, 2:00pm
SAT 19 NineBullets Party II, Revolution Bar, 3:00pm

The Only Sons - Lay Back Down.mp3
Buy (mp3): Steel Hearts (2009)

SXSW Schedule
FRI 18 NineBullets Party I, Double Down Lounge, 2:00pm
SAT 19 NineBullets Party II, Revolution Bar, 3:00pm

Austin Lucas - She Did.mp3
Buy: Somebody Loves You (2009)

SXSW Schedule
SAT 19 NineBullets Party II, Revolution Bar, 2:00pm

Somewhere along the line make sure to catch Kasey Anderson and the Honkies. They are doing seven different gigs during SXSW - all FREE. I'm not posting tunes right now as I will do a proper write-up of their new album Heart of a Dog in a few weeks.

SXSW Schedule
THU 17 Music Gorilla Showcase, Treasure Island, 3:00pm
FRI 18 Stag's Rock Roll Circus South, Zax, 12:00pm
FRI 18 NineBullets Party I, Double Down Lounge, 3:00pm
FRI 18 Romeo's, 11:00pm
SAT 19 Smoke and Sand Showcase, Rusty Spurs, 12:00pm
SAT 19 NineBullets Party II, The Revolution Bar, 2:00pm
SAT 19 Twangfest Party, Jovita's, 5:30pm

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Thanks for the info. Sure do appreciate it!