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5 highlights as we wrap up SXSW 2019

American-Statesman staff
Lizzo performs at Stubb's during South by Southwest early Friday. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

South by Southwest 2019 is in the books. Here are five highlights from the second half of the week filled with tech talk, music, food, movies and whole bunch more. See all our coverage at

1. Lizzo won SXSW in the wee hours of Friday at Stubb's. It was a side-splitting, booty-shaking celebration of love: for Lizzo, for music, for oneself. The joy of watching this artist embrace the full charisma that she possesses leads to one question: Why isn’t she a household name yet? She will be soon.

2. Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond had a good time talking Friday about the legacy of the Beastie Boys. They spent a good part of their keynote conversation trying to crack each other up, something they had done while making music with third Beastie Adam Yauch. Horovitz and Diamond said they feel blessed to have spent so many years creating art with their best friends. “We feel grateful he’d always been interested in things beyond where we were,” Diamond said of visionary Yauch, who died in 2012.

3. Marijuana convert John Boehner — Republican U.S. House speaker from 2011 to 2015 — said Friday the federal government “just needs to get out of the way” and allow the legal cannabis industry to flourish in states that want it.  “The world is changing and the federal government hasn’t caught up,” said Boehner, who opposed marijuana legalization during his time in Congress. He joined the board of advisers of cannabis company Acreage Holdings in 2018 and said his opinion has evolved over the years, although he said he hasn't tried pot.

4. Talking Heads frontman David Byrne joined cast and crew members from “True Stories” at the Paramount Theatre on Wednesday for a screening of Criterion’s 4K restoration of the 1986 film "True Stories," which celebrates the specialness of small-town Texas. Byrne's sole foray into feature-length film directing is a bizarre, often hilarious, music-driven comedy that has (like Byrne’s music) aged remarkably well.

5. Willie’s annual Fourth of July Picnic has sometimes seemed a bit of a boys’ club, but there was none of that at this year’s Luck Reunion on Nelson's property west of Austin, where women —including legendary gospel and soul singer Mavis Staples, British country soul singer Yola, country-folk singer Courtney Marie Andrews, Bonnie Bishop and Nicole Atkins — carried the day.