It’s Day 2 of the South by Southwest Music Festival, and as official showcases and unofficial side parties revved up in earnest, a microcosm popped up in the American-Statesman parking lot.
The MTV Woodies, an annual event celebrating up-and-coming talent, returned to 305 S. Congress Ave. this year as an official SXSW show. Before the official awards show at 8 p.m., however, fans parked themselves for pre-show entertainment on adjacent stages, free food and drinks and some humid people-teeming. After rapper A$AP Ferg got people bouncing in the muggy air around 5:30 p.m., pop singer Børns laid out chill vibes half an hour later under cloudy skies, wearing a psychedelic mesh shirt and Janis Joplin shades. The woozy hippie hooks of “10,000 Emerald Pools” and “Past Lives” landed on Garrett Borns’ mic like sweet nothings.
.@Bornsmusic just took the stage. #Woodies#SXSW#SXSW2016pic.twitter.com/H8LCaPQ00q
— MTV Live (@MTV_Live) March 16, 2016
Away from that gaping plywood maw of a stage and elsewhere around the mini-fest, Woodies attendees sought shelter from the moderate heat under umbrellas, listening to the strains of “Electric Love” and chowing down on chopped brisket and pork ribs. (The drink tickets that came attached to the wristbands seemed to be getting a good ride, too.) The food court area was a traffic nightmare, but free snacks could be found on the other side of the lot courtesy of a generous Doritos tent and Reese’s vendors sampling wares out of strap-mounted trays shaped like giant peanut butter cups. (Think “cigarette girl at the Coconut Grove in 1943.)
Also: a tumbling Doritos tunnel?
And just because this was a party in a parking lot doesn’t mean people didn’t come looking their best. Take Viridiana Santos Zequeida, for example, whose retro chic look evoked Rosie the Riveter. She said her mother, who lives in Mexico and is almost 70 years old, always gives her loads of clothes that aren’t quite work-wearable. She dons them for events like SXSW instead.
The MTV Woodies 10 for 16 broadcast starts at 8 p.m., with host A$AP Rocky. (Check back later at austin360.com for a full report.) Other performers on deck this year include Chvrches, The Chainsmokers, Anderson.Paak & The Free Nationals, Jack Garratt, Jidenna, Kehlani and Lukas Graham. Rapper Travis Scott, previously announced as a performer, cancelled at the last minute, according to Twitter.
Sorry #woodies sorry #sxsw
Can't make tonight 😷
— TRAVIS SCOTT (@trvisXX) March 16, 2016