SXSW 2008 | January 20, 2008

So time is ticking along and SXSW 2008 is almost upon us. As each week passes I learn of more friends going, and the excitement is starting to build. It seems like half of Brighton will be over in Austin this year, so I’m looking forward to introducing a whole new generation of Brits to the craziness that it SXSW.

To celebrate, Clearleft, Carsonified and Boagworld will be hosting the second annual Great British Booze-up on Monday the 10th of March. Kicking off at 7:30pm in the Shakespeare’s Pub on E 6th Street, there’ll be FREE food, FREE booze and an all British soundtrack. It’s a great opportunity for all the Brit’s at Southby to get-together with their Americans chums for a traditional British knees-up. Warm beer and pork scratchings optional.

Last year’s event was a lot of fun, and loads of people said it was their favourite party of conference. So much so, we’ve actually become an official SXSW event this year. With that in mind, if you want to come along, please make sure you get there early as places are strictly limited and the food and booze won’t last for ever. Once the beer finally runs out, we’ll all be heading over to the Iron Cactus for NXNW.

I have to admit that I was a little jaded by the quality of some of the panels last year. I think there were too many speakers running panels just to get a free ticket. Panels seem like an easy option, but are actually pretty hard to do. Just look at the work that went into something like the Design Eye sessions to see what I mean. As such I’m mostly going to concentrate on presentations this year and only go to panels that look particularly interesting. I’m also not going to worry about going to every session possible. Instead I’m going to spend a bit more time hanging out in the corridors, at lunch or over coffee with people. Half the fun of SXSW is meeting up with people you don’t get to see that often, so that’s going to be one of my priorities this year.

With so many things going on at SXSW, it can be a little intimidating for the first time attendee. The good news is that people are ridiculously friendly, so just go up and start talking to people. Before you know it you’ll be swept along on mass for lunch or to the next party. If you’re new to Southby, definitely check out SXSW Baby for all the conference gossip.

If you don’t know Austin, the cool bars are mostly located along 6th Street or 4th Street. Popular places to eat, drink and hang out include Halcyon Coffee Bar, Buffalo Billards, Iron Cactus, Las Manitas, Magnolia and Moonshine. If in doubt, either follow the crowd or check Twitter.

Lastly, the day of registration is usually a bit of a write-off, so if people are interested I’m thinking of organising a trip out to the Texas Rodeo.

If you know Austin well, and fancy sharing some of your top tips for SXSW, please feel free.

Posted at January 20, 2008 1:50 PM


pauldwaite said on January 20, 2008 3:21 PM

This just in from Pedant’s Corner:

swept along on mass

I think it’s en masse , French for “all together?.

Martin Ringlein said on January 20, 2008 4:52 PM

I can’t believe SXSW is almost here … really looking forward to another fun “Great British Booze-up”.

Scott said on January 20, 2008 7:16 PM

Looking forward to it Andy. I’m going to try to not schedule dinner with the Veer crew this time around so that I actually make it out and don’t just catch up with the brits afterwards at SXNW.

And hopefully we won’t see a repeat of this :)

Matthew Pennell said on January 21, 2008 8:53 AM

Yay! Looking forward to it - and I think the line-up of sessions/panels is looking better than last year (although that might just be based on what is relevant to my job). I’ll be first in line for the British Booze-up… ;)

Christian Watson said on January 21, 2008 4:22 PM

Now that I’ve actually moved to Austin, I’m looking forward to attending my first SXSW.

I hope to finally meet some of my fellow Brits at the Shakespeare - it’s about time!

Jeff L said on January 21, 2008 8:56 PM

Hey Andy,

Appreciate you guys putting on the party, looking forward to it. My last trip was in 06 when you did you the superhero presentation.
Anything fun like that planned for this year?

James Asher said on January 25, 2008 6:01 AM

I had fun at the Booze-up last year and am excited to go again.

A question though: what was it with the English always liking Shinerbock beer? It seems like that’s all they drank? Anyways, it’s delicious and I have SXSW and, in particular, the Booze-up to thank for it.

Andy Budd said on January 25, 2008 12:44 PM

There was quite a bit of flat tire being consumed as well, but I’m always open to new recommendations.

James Asher said on January 25, 2008 4:24 PM

Speaking of Fat Tire, the company that makes it also makes a Black Ale called 1554 that is better than Fat Tire, in my own opinion of course. If you get a chance, check it out.

Hugo said on January 25, 2008 10:05 PM

If you want more info on Austin or SXSW checkout

Ryan Rumsey said on February 15, 2008 3:39 PM

There are also some great bars on S. Congress and S. Lamar. Looking forward to introducing myself and sharing a drink.