yes, it’s over – and we were there, we did it! 30 gigs in 4 days (you can check out which ones on our twitter and soon see pictures on our flickr) and I know more could have fit in – but I was happy and satisfied and adding more would have meant mixing too much in my memories sounds, faces, names, emotions and places. Yet it was still overwhelming, but here’s why I liked it.
people: I liked the fact that people at SXSW were into music – I know it sounds banal but I was disappointed at the last indie festival I went to in Milan (MIAMI) about the uncaring attitude of people attending the gigs – they were there because it was the place to be, not because they cared about music. So I enjoyed the attention people gave to music, their rather relaxed attitude during the shows, the curiosity of checking out new bands, the electric atmosphere on the streets.
I didn’t enjoy fighting for taxies at the end of the night – but that’s another story…
artists: SXSW confirmed to me that life is fluid and unexpected and you need to be ready for anything. The most common thing I saw at SXSW was musicians dealing with last minute sound checks, playing borrowed instruments, trying to fix the ones that were breaking (especially drum kits!) in the middle of the show, sticking to an unbelievably strict schedule (I was impressed, actually), playing in venues that were not made for them, playing in front of a too small of an audience for what they were worth.
It was a war and a marathon, but it was fun and exciting, and most bands managed incredibly well, I have to say. And in those times, you can see what a true musician is able to do, you can test his creativity and his talent, and of course his experience as well. At SXSW, I saw the true challenges of what it means to pull off a great live music event.
venues: I was impressed with venues as well. Yes there were queues and they made me miss a few shows I wanted to check out, but that was expected, right? On the other hand, most venues were the right size for an enjoyable live event, and the variety of them kept me curious and entertained, and managed to provide a unique flavor to each memory of a band playing. And considering the number of band I saw in so little time, that was important.
And I also liked many more things that won’t make it to this post, which can only contain few quick thoughts on the experience. Because that’s where everything started. That’s how frestyl began. With amazing live music.