Resist the temptation to try to come to terms with SXSW logically. These aren’t tax forms you’re dealing with, but 2000 bands, playing in clubs, in tents, on streets, in parks. By design, it reinvents itself every year, and there are countless pathways through the mayhem, all of them leaving you exhilarated and exhausted. You face the assault on your senses and then pick your spots for visceral gratification. The fact that the festival overlaps with St Patrick’s Day is a blessing or a curse depending on your feeling toward public intoxication and fake Irish accents.
Yes, you want to drive to Lockhart for destination bar-b-que, but it’s hard to pull yourself away from show after show.
You compare notes with friends on bands and then move on to food and drink. Local beer? Here’s a vote for Shiner Bock, though Lone Star makes a strong showing. Is 16 oz. a good size for a can? Verdict: depends how fast you drink. Also: When you’re in the mood for a Michelada, is anything finer? And, finally, would you rather have good bar-b-que nearby or great bar-b-que further afield? Wise men may differ on that matter.
There are so many choices in Austin. The best advice is a quote alternately attributed to Buddha or Willie Nelson: Drink late today, sleep late tomorrow.