Hannah Does SXSW Part Two

Day 2 — Digging In

Day two started with me waking up at 7:00am, next to a person I barely know in someone else’s bed..

It took me a second to gain my bearings, and once I scraped the crust from my eyes I remembered, “ah, yes, wait I’m staying in a hotel!”. I sprang to action and got ready to meet up with the class in the hotel lobby. Everyday we were supposed to rally in the lobby at 8am. From there we headed to the Blackheart Bar/venue where we were working for the week.

Our hotel was a little further away than past years, and our morning trip was about 45 minutes in total. I enjoyed it though. It was nice to start the day off with a walk, and it was a good way to get familiar with downtown and see the sights.

[~Speaking of sights… Does this look familiar to anyone? (for those who don’t know..there was a “Shen Yun” poster take over in the cities for about three months. You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing one of those damn posters or billboards!)

Shen Yun made it to Austin!

I stopped in my tracks when I saw that to take a picture.. ~]

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When we made it to the Blackheart we were introduced to the people we were working with for the week. We were partnered with Clif bar, High Brew Coffee, Noisetrade, Pledge Music, Orange amps, The Current, and Frye boots.

[~Monday — Wednesday was the “Clif Bar Bash” and that entailed basically unlimited nut butter filled clif bars. That may sound exciting, but you quickly realize that you can really only eat three of those in one sitting.. Thursday and Friday were labeled “Frye Days” (no free boots though)~]

Shots of my VIP passes for the week & sponsored materials!
Blackheart Bar

The Blackheart has two stages: an indoor stage and outdoor stage. Each band had 30 minute sets, and the start times were staggered by half an hour.

For example.. Band X was scheduled 11:30–12:00 on the outdoor stage

Band Y was scheduled 12:00–12:30 on the indoor stage

This allowed us time to get the stages set up (band gear, mics, stands, cables, lines, etc.), and also get gear off the stage for the next band to go on.

The fun really began when the bands started arriving. (Between 40 & 50 bands performed at the “unofficial” shows at the Blackheart in five days) We helped unload gear from the vans into an outdoor tent, then tagged all the gear with brightly colored duct tape to correspond with their set time. It was all very organized. Slightly chaotic at times, but organized. We followed this same flow for every band who came through the door, from 11AM-6PM.

I hung around the venue for the first few hours of my day and then went to sit in on a panel titled “Film, TV, & Digital Music: Scoring and Residuals 101”.

This panel was hosted by four people, one of whom was famous songwriter Dan Navarro. I’m sure most of you don’t know who Dan is, but I can bet that you know his songs. One to mention is “We Belong”, which is sung by Pat Benatar.

The panel was neat and I learned how residuals work, and how to gather all of them as an artist.

After the panel, I headed back to the Blackheart to catch a few bands before we had to tear down.

At the end of each day, we had to prep the venue for the “official” south by shows. This entailed packing up all of the gear on backline and hauling it back inside, taking down all the sponsors’ banners an cleaning up trash. When it was all said and done it looked something like this..

By the end of tear down it was around 6:30, and 6:30 means dinner. Dinner for me consisted of a gyro from a food truck and lots of emergen-c (I’ve heard south by scurvy exists).

I then explored downtown with some other folks and Scott showed us this “secret” cocktail bar hidden in a parking garage. I forgot my ID at the hotel, but it worked out because no one questioned my very mature and put together persona.


After chilling in the very dimly lit bar, a few of us made our way to a church to see some classical music..

Little did we know, we were walking into a full blown service. A man stood on the stage with a band of other people hyping up the crowd (that’s what they call it, right?). People in the pews had their hands up and were clearly experiencing something otherworldly and emotional.

I, on the other hand, was getting mighty hot and I’m surprised I didn’t burst into flames. I stayed for about five minutes and then left with Scott to grab my ID from the hotel.

Him and I were heading to a bar to see Lena, one of my fellow classmates, perform a last-minute set at sxsw! We had a very interesting commute to the bar, and at one point were harassed by a very drunk man who thought we were Mexican and heading back towards the border..

Lena’s set was great and it was a nice way to end day 2.