5 Reasons Austin Actually Hates SXSW

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Austin, Texas. Home of the breakfast taco, Barton Springs, Lone Star beers, and more variations on queso that any of us ever thought possible. Also ground-zero for the seemingly endless (now two week) parade of absurdity, drunkenness, and hipsterdom that is SXSW. Austinites are divided: some of us try to ride the wave, chasing the elusive SXSW dragon (“I saw Kanye and Bomba Estereo do a shared set at a secret show in a closet inside this one boot store!”).

But a lot of us hate/love it (order intentional), and most just hate it outright. Because let’s be honest: who really wants to weave in and out of people on three-day benders and side-step puddles of puke while you’re trying to get to work in the morning?

So, we give you the top five reasons Austin actually hates South By. You’re welcome.



The one thing that any Austin resident, native or new, agrees on is how terrible the traffic is. An extra 90,000+ makes our 15-minute commute in and out of downtown take over an hour (yes, some of us actually still have to work there while you make it your party playground). And all these extra bodies mean getting a taco before work is out of the question, because there’s suddenly an hour-long wait. Behind three selfie-obsessed girls wearing serapes and cowboy boots. In front of two dudes wearing serapes, boots, and cowboy hats (also taking selfies). None of who are from Texas. All of whom smell like Saturday night. On a Wednesday morning. And when you get to the taco window and they’re out of nopales? Hell hath no fury.


Space Conversion

“Oh yeah we’re up the street past the Doritos stage and the Charmin charging station, turn right at the Spotify house and then it’s in the lot.” Those were our favorite coffee shops, laundromats, and go-to parking lots. No morning coffee, a show space where we usually park, an overflowing basket of dirty chones, and throngs of feather and serape-covered masses losing themselves in a candyland of corporate logos. SX as in fuck you. It makes even the chillest of us more than a little ragey.


Badge Entitlement

Let this be your PSA, lest you get into a brawl with a Texan about it: badges and wristbands matter not to any of us. You do not get line privileges anywhere else in the city. Not at the juice bar or the bathroom line or the taco truck or the gas station. So queue up like everyone else. We give no fucks. We will cut you.



Yeah, we know. No self-respecting hipster would ever identify themselves as one. Which is why none do. Pero no mames. We see you. On a normal week, Austin teeters at max capacity for smug mugs from Bushwick in cut off tees with intentionally messy hair. SXSW warp-speeds us far beyond any humanely tolerable legal limit for such douchebaggery. For a full fourteen days we’re overrun with every music-obsessed startup culture idiot from all of the bougiest self-loathing hipster hellholes in the U.S. The kind of people who are so self-involved they can’t even tell us (or anyone) what they actually do for work. “Uh, you know, I do design at a start up?” Is that a sentence or a question? Do you even know what you do? Designing new ways to look at the brilliance of your bellybutton through your iPhone while texting. Sounds fascinating. Get out.



Festival goers presence ultimately translates into the ongoing and relentless transformation of our community long after the streets are cleaned and the corporate blow-up dolls have gone.  It’s a model being replicated everywhere from Bushwick to Bywater, and East Austin has fared no different.  Immigrant-owned businesses literally get bulldozed without warning, all to please the capital-hungry SX gods.  The long-term impacts mean that the once-thriving immigrant neighborhood east of I35 is being torn down and reproduced in Williamsburg’s image.  We get it; Austin is lovely.  That’s why so many of us have chosen to make our lives here.  When you come to SXSW and decide to outbid everyone by $30k or more on that cute little 2-bed bungalow, it prices out families and business that have been here for generations, making us wish the festival had never arrived.  So when you see that bus painted “Welcome to Austin, don’t forget to leave!” …It wasn’t a joke.

Bottom line: Would you want a mass of obnoxiously smug randos to roll up into your wela’s house and yard like they own the place, throw a serape-themed party, piss all over everything, eat all the al pastor, do blow in your childhood bedroom, and then call her landlord to buy the house out from under her before they’ve even walked out the door?  Nah.  We ain’t here for that.  And we hope you aren’t either.