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2019 SXSW Recap: Day 6

Back again from Austin with another PEG Insider report from SXSW!  In my first few entries from the festival, we’ve talked about different sessions I’ve been to, the art of making films, and some industry insight.  So for today, we’re going to take a little bit of a lighter approach and I figured I’d share a few random musings about things I’ve seen while down here.  If you’re looking for hard-hitting video/industry insight, now’s your time to move on from this one…

  • There are scooters everywhere.  I’ve never really been in love with the whole scooter thing, mainly because I think they make a city/downtown look incredibly sloppy as people just leave them scattered all over the place.  Well, that’s never been more the case than this week in Austin.  There are over 8,400 scooters that have been brought in for SXSW and you can barely walk a block on the sidewalk without almost tripping on one or being nearly hit by one riding by or at you amongst the masses of people.  I’ll admit, I tried them with a couple of friends on Tuesday night, and they were fun…and efficient.  But man, they make a city look and feel like a mess.  I could write about this for a while longer, but this article from Mashable summarizes the situation pretty well.
  • Texas BBQ is just the best.  Not exactly breaking news here, but it’s true.  They just do it so much better than every other state.  My personal favorites: Black’s Barbecue and Salt Lick BBQ.  The fatty brisket from Black’s and the Frito Pie are both fantastic.  From Salt Lick, if you don’t do a chopped brisket sandwich you’re doing yourself a real disservice in life.
  • The Trade Show at SXSW is like a bizarre trip through the future of…stuff.  They had everything there from a robot from a Japanese country that could make you breakfast all by itself, stand-up desks with hammocks underneath them (kinda a fun idea…but guaranteed awkward),  and even fuzzy little robotic creatures that recognize you, can look you in the eye and just want to be hugged.  One had glasses and all of them were equally adorable and creepy at the same time.
  • Grab and go breakfast tacos are a thing in Austin and they should be everywhere.  There was a nice, little local food truck by where I was staying that had them available to walk up and grab every morning, and even the grocery stores downtown just have them warming by the registers.  This doesn’t have to just be a Texas thing.  We can make this happen if we all speak up and demand more access to breakfast tacos.
  • Lines are also a really big thing in Austin when it comes to SXSW.  The brand houses and special events that companies and places put on really are incredibly well done and I wish I could have seen more of them, but there’s just so much happening at all times, it’s personally hard for me to justify waiting in massive lines that can be over an hour long to get into a crowded house/party showcasing a brand.  That said, they really are incredible and definitely unique to the SXSW experience.  Watching them all get assembled and put together in the day or two leading up to the show is astounding.  Entire houses and restaurants get converted literally overnight, with new facades, brands, etc.  It really is cool to see and massive credit to the folks that built these things and put them back to the way they were all within a matter of days.  It’s like watching an arena change from a hockey arena, to a basketball arena to a concert venue all over the same weekend.

That’s all for today!  Tomorrow, I’ll recap the SXSW experience and talk about the key trends and learnings that I’ve gathered while in Austin.  Stay tuned!

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