South by Southwest Music kicked off not with a whisper, but also not with a bang Tuesday. Though the music portion of the conference has extended to overlap the Film and Interactive Fests in the past several years, the sense this afternoon was that the music fest was still gearing up. Several popular parties including Spotify (where social media reported formidable lines) and the House of Vans were already in full swing, but many more including the Pandora Discovery Den and hip-hop hotspot the Fader Fort kick off tomorrow.
“Come back tomorrow. We’ll have beer and bands all day,” the doorman at the Container Bar said. The venue will participate in the Culture Collide on Rainey St. SXSW festivities.
Sidewalks around downtown were bustling with many folks decked out in green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Public RSVPs weren’t a total bust, but official credentials certainly made for easier access to today’s events. By late afternoon, general admission lines for day parties averaged about 50 people deep. At 4:15 p.m. as Australian rockers the Delta Riggs played the Stub Hub party in the Rainey St. district, the Clive Bar was at capacity with admission limited to one in and one out. “A lot of these people aren’t going to get in,” the doorman said. The line for SXSW badge holders at the party was virtually non-existent.
The same was true at the Littlefield Building at Sixth and Congress where Capital One was hosting a free party. Fifteen minutes before breezy California indie rockers Best Coast were set to play at 5 p.m., the small group of badge holders faced minimal wait times while the line for non credentialed fest-goers wrapped around the building and stretched down Sixth Street.
Some locals eschewed the SXSW hype altogether. With the lead singer decked out in a tie-dyed Keep Austin Weird t-shirt, local band the Side Men played an old-fashioned porch party in a ramshackle Rainey St. house while a calico cat lazily lounged on an industrial spool.