Why I Prefer SXSW over ACL
Here are Dale and I enjoying ourselves at Emo's during SXSW 2009. In a bar, not only you are protected from the elements (Don't get me started on the Dust at ACL) but you don't have to use a port-a-potty. I carry extra hand sanitizer and toilet paper in case the bar's facilities run out of either.
Here I am in a port-a-potty at ACL a few years back. The heat + the beer + the gross boys = a disgusting port-a-potty experience.
I went into that port-a-potty and it was pitch black so I could not see a thing. I took a picture of the toilet seat and it was the grossest thing I have ever seen. Needless to say, I "held it" all night. Not good.
#2 The Fans
At ACL people don't always know who they are standing in front of a stage to see. Sure, they have the schedule in hand and know the bands name but they may or may not give a shit. They may just be camped out there all day so that they could be up front to catch Eddie Vedder's sweat drops. I prefer going to a bar where the people in the crowd are fans. It creates a nice atmosphere when people know the music. Sure, the same can be said about a few people at SXSW. We went to a venue to see Daniel Johnston, for instance, and decided to watch a few bands. One of those bands was Trail of Dead.
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (and our loud ass drum kits)
None of us were fans before the show and we did not become fans that night. Look at Lee's face....this is right before we decided to retire to the bleachers and wait:
So yes, it can happen during SXSW but at least you can retire to the bleachers and chat with another band while enjoying a Lonestar. If you don't camp in front of the stage for your favorite band at ACL, you are stuck way in the back watching it all go down on the big screen. If I wanted to see the Beastie Boys on a big screen I would watch them on my tv at home.
Here is Daniel Johnston, by the way....
#3 The Street
You never know what is going to happen on the street during SXSW. This year, we happened upon hip hop artists Josh Martinez, Sleep, and the other fella. Who is that, J3? Help me out. It's not a bearded Atmosphere....is it?
They were just hanging out on the corner with a little PA doing their thing. Dale was all excited because he has seen them before and could not believe they were on the street. We spoke with Josh for a while. Nice dude.
The only performing you see at ACL is on the stage (or on the big screen).
#4The Hot Dogs
The hot dog man next to the Red Eyed Fly on Red River is the goods.
Yes, I know. ACL has food. Do they have THE Hot dog cart? Do THEY????? Is it this one? This one is the shit.
#5 Free Hugs
And Free Merch. They pass out merch like candy on the streets during SXSW.
#6 A place to sit
And you don't even have to lug your own camping chair and blanket with you!
#7 I hate those stupid lines at ACL. There is a line to get in and a line to get to the bus that takes you to and from ACL. The longest I had to wait to get into a club during SXSW was MAYBE 5 minutes.
#8 Too many people in one place. That's right. ACL is overrun by people. Old people, young people, people with babies, people with camel backs, etc. At SXSW, they are all spread out. Only so many people are allowed in a club at one time. Your chances of getting up close and personal to the band of your choosing is much more likely...unless you are there to see Metallica. If that's the case, then you suck anyway.
*9 Did I mention the gross port-a-potties? I don't like to share my bathroom with the boys.
#10 Dan Auerbach is not playing Bill's Place after ACL.
But he may be playing Stubb's or Emo's or something after ACL. I will save myself the sunscreen and just see him in the club during his after show which is guaranteed to be much longer and filled with his fans.