- Posted on Mar 16th 2011 12:30PM by Small Sins
Hey, Kevin Hilliard from the band Small Sins here. My bandmates and I are currently somewhere in the United States, four guys in a van winging down some faceless interstate on our way to the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. Over the next few days I hope to give anyone who hasn't been to the fest before a bit of a glimpse behind the curtain to see what it's really like to be a performer there. We have five gigs/recording sessions lined up over three days so there should be plenty of crazy business going on.
Traveling together as a four-man mini-army is a weird way of life for the uninitiated. You tend to do a lot of things that you normally wouldn't do in 'real' life; you eat things you shouldn't, you say things you shouldn't and you do things you shouldn't. Ask yourself: when was the last time you chugged several beers out in the blazing sun on a Thursday at 2PM? Everyday life -- not so much. However, at SXSW this is accepted and almost expected behaviour, all of which is blanketed in the warm hazy glow of a multi-day bender of sleep deprivation.
So imagine, if you will, a city where there are over 5,000 of these like-minded musicians jammed (pun intended) together, all of whom are type-A personalities, all of whom tend to ignore most of life's agreed upon rules and who all just want to have a good time. Picture a five-day period where you can pretty much do whatever you want. Now douse that image in a Lone Star beer and you have SXSW.
I promise you, dear reader, that I will leave no drink ticket unused, no pork un-pulled and will do my utmost to make sure that no swag gets left behind. Oh... and also write about it for Spinner.
On route to SXSW has been a blast. We've played some great shows but also ran into a few snags. We had our van broken into in Chicago (see above), the promoter in Boston basically canceled the show on us without telling us (see below) and half of our merch didn't make it across the border in Maine. Oh well, that's showbiz.