This is your brain on SXSW: "SOMETHING IS HAPPENING SOMEWHERE AND THERE'S FREE VODKA BEING SERVED AND YOU'RE MISSING IT!" Do your best to fight that voice in your head.
No one objects to being filmed. If anything they take the hint and rise to the challenge. I saw multiple photos of a group of topless women doing cartwheels through 6th street. (Think what would happen if Clark Street and 6 corners had a child that had food carts everywhere.)
Speaking of toplessness...Chicago, learn from Austin: No plastic bags, breakfast tacos a-plently, the buses cost a dollar, there's no BS food truck legislation and you're allowed to be topless if you want.
On that same token, Austin, learn from Chicago: You can be friendly and still walk down the street with some urgency. Have a public transit system that makes sense in reference to how the city is mapped out.
There is no "headliner.".There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of performances taking place during SXSW. Most of them are taking place at the same time. No matter what an artist tells you, there isn't a singular main event at SXSW (...except Prince, who played this year. Prince is a headliner in any city he's in currently at that point and time.)
Don't freak out. Before you go to SXSW, you will freak out and try to RSVP to everything. You will attend maybe 1/64th of the things you RSVP for. Know this ahead of time.
Chicago rap ain't doing too bad, folks. We were at the FakeShoreDrive x Red Bull showcase down there and I saw damn near every major name in Chicago's rap scene in front of and behind the scenes out there showing love. Everyone was happy, and celebrating together. It's my sincere hope that some of the love shown down there came home with everyone.
This Illmore is one of the best parties I've ever attended.
Drinks, cool people, smoking hot women and a ton of surprise guests made it a must-attend for me next year. .
It changed my life and made me want to throw one here in Chicago.
In summary, SXSW is an awesome time. I'd recommend going once, especially if you're the type of person who likes being up on new stuff and seeing a bunch of random stuff like the dude from Dashboard Confessional at a random bar at 12:45 am on a Wednesday.