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How to Piss Off Someone From Austin During SXSW

by Hal Amen Mar 10, 2014
Trash our house just because we’re charging you $900/night.

Any Austinite who 1) owns a home within a 20-mile radius of the convention center, and 2) has the patience to navigate the city’s short-term rental permitting process, takes this annual opportunity to earn in a week what will cover their mortgage for the next couple months. Thanks, Airbnb.

When a standard double room at any of the hotels downtown is going for $900/night, you (or, more likely, your company) will probably be happy to shell out that $900 for a house where you can cram in six of your friends/coworkers with you.

Just remember — this is not a downtown hotel. This is our home. Don’t use the economics of supply and demand to justify throwing a rager and putting holes in our drywall / flooding the kitchen floor with keg foam / forever trashing our relationship with our neighbors / etc.

Wander beyond the ‘festival zone.’

There may be 20+ official SXSW venues, but they’re almost all contained within the greater downtown area. In recent years we’ve even ceded you the East Side south of 6th.

The line must be drawn here.

Do not venture up onto the drag, North Loop, or Rosedale. South Lamar, Manor, and Oltorf are off limits. These are the places we depend on for escape, those of us who have built and every day live that unique Austin culture you and the rest of the world have decided to fetishize so fiercely. Those of us who aren’t “knowledge workers,” or at least don’t work for companies willing to shell out thousands for “networking opportunities.”

Give us our space.

Tweet your every waking moment.

Not because we’re following you and don’t want our feeds inundated with inane quotes from that panel on ‘How to optimize your crowdsourcing app for Millennials.’ Because we don’t want you walking out in front of traffic.

We may not be super fond of you, but we’re not assholes. Don’t die in Austin.

Complain about the lines.

This one gets us every time. You are the line. The line is you. You might as well curse your feet for adding 5lbs to your body weight.

Imagine how we feel, the third-class citizens in the walk-up ticket line, watching as badge- and then pass-holders shuffle in and fill up the theater for the film we really wanted to see. An hour later and we’re driving home empty-handed — if anyone is allowed to complain about the lines, it’s us.

Treat the city like your private playground.

Okay, so we didn’t exactly help the cause in 2012 when we outfitted homeless people with wifi hotspots and had them hang out around the convention center.

This incident aside, we’d like you to remember that the city of Austin and its residents are not here to facilitate and enhance your experience at our marquee festival. Don’t expect us to have exact directions to your super obscure party venue, don’t hit us up on the street asking to buy weed, and don’t be surprised when we write articles enumerating the ways in which you piss us off.

Think you can “grab a bite” at Franklin and make the noon show at the Radio Day Stage.

Getting a taste of what’s been called the best BBQ in the world requires a minimum two-hour wait on any random Thursday morning of the year. When we’re talking the Thursday during SXSW Music? Good luck.

Expect us to be impressed that you’re speaking on a panel.

Step 1: Take the SXSW program booklets out of your swag bag. Step 2: Flip through the pages and count the number of panels, talks, dialogues, one-on-ones, keynotes, workshops, etc. Step 3: Ask yourself again if you should expect anyone to be impressed that you’re one among hundreds.

Wear your badge into the 7-11.

I’m sure we’d all really like to have unfettered access to talks by VPs of the world’s top tech firms, shows by the world’s top bands, and Q&As with the world’s top film directors. But many of us are never going to be able to afford throwing down for that lanyard and the RFID-chipped card hanging from it.

Your badge represents an expenditure of anywhere from $500 to $1,700. You wouldn’t walk around with your MacBook Air around your neck, and the dude behind the counter at 7-11 doesn’t need to check your badge for that six pack of Lone Star. Put it in your fucking pocket.

Ask us where the bats are.

Oh dear.

Use a cab to go six blocks.

The bars just closed on Rainey Street and now you’re faced with an epic journey back to the Residence Inn. Please, please just walk. Because for those of us who had one too many at Mister Tramps, the Draught House, or Contigo, the road home is likely slightly longer, and we’d really appreciate not having to wait two hours for a cab.

Or, if you’ve been hitting the company card a bit too hard at Lustre Pearl and can’t put one foot in front of the other, we know for a fact there’s a pedicab with your name on it.

Ask when/where the “secret show” is.

Fact 1: If we knew, it wouldn’t really be “secret,” would it? Fact 2: If we did know, and told you, it definitely wouldn’t be secret.

If you persist, we’ll be happy to direct you to a parking garage on San Jacinto that very well could be witnessing the sickest, secretest show in the history of SXSW. Make sure to tell us how it was.

Complain about not being able to find enough free food and beer, or that you’re tired of being forced to download apps in exchange for said free food and beer.

If there’s a better application for #firstworldproblems, we haven’t seen it.

Move here.

It happens every year: You spend a couple days in town, the weather is fucking gorgeous, the whole city is one big party that you have an exclusive invite to, and you think…I should move to Austin!

Let me fast forward a few months for you, when you’re waking up to your 30th straight day of 100+ degrees, and all you can hope to do is go from air-conditioned house to air-conditioned car to air-conditioned office and back again without getting heatstroke. This is also Austin, and it lasts a hell of a lot longer than SXSW.

And, you know, there’s the whole Texas thing. You’d hate it here. You’re welcome.

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