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Regardless of what time of year you're in Austin, 6th Street is where you will find the most debauchery. It is here that the crowds gather to party, with an endless stream of bars attracting a young, high-energy vibe. It is a site worth seeing, especially during festivals like South by Southwest, when the road is closed off and the party spills out onto the street.
But when you're ready to take a chill pill, consider checking out another segment of Austin's social scene, Rainey Street. While there is still plenty of partying and fun to be had, the mood is much more low-key and "neighborhoody" than the one you find on 6th Street. Think quieter streets, nearby houses, food trucks, trendy settings, and lots of outside picnic table seating.
Easy Day Trips / Austin Travel / SXSW / Texas Travel / Food Travel / Lockhart Travel / Barbecue Capital of Texas / → All Tags
Barbecue is the cornerstone of Austin cuisine, especially for people in town for South by Southwest looking for a local experience. There are a number of great places to try within the city limits to get your fix of ribs and brisket, such as Black's, Rudy's, and Franklin. But if you're looking to escape the crowds for a couple hours, you might consider a lunch trip to Lockhart, the "barbecue capital of the Texas" just 40 minutes south.
The title of being the barbecue capital of Texas was first given to Lockhart by the 76th Texas Legislature and House Resolution #1024 in 1999, which officially named Lockhart the "Barbecue Capital of Texas." The title was again reaffirmed by the Senate in the Fall of 2003. Hearing that, we expected to find endless options in Lockhart, but amazingly there are only four barbecue restaurants in the entire town.
There are hundreds of shows and parties happening each night at South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, and figuring out how to get into them is half the battle. Popping in and out of venues hosting open parties is a strategy many festival-goers take up in order to remain fluid and avoid waiting in the long lines that can haunt many shows.
But many of the free events still require that you sign up in advance to get on the list, meaning that some planning is required.
Keeping track of all your options can become a challenge, especially if you are with a big group and eyeing a variety of different shows. One nice solution we found was a website/service called RSVPster, which, for $30, automatically RSVPs you for all the free events, parties, and shows that require registration. It then sends those registration details (aka a bar code/ticket) to an Eventbrite app on your mobile phone.
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In addition to film, technology and music, SXSW is also showcasing rising talents and established artists throughout Austin, Texas this week.
Part of this year's Art at SXSW initiative includes a collaboration between POW! WOW! Hawaii, a global network of artists, and SprATX, an Austin-based art collective, to create several mural installations around downtown Austin.
Participating POW! WOW! artists Tatiana Suarez, Yoskay Yamamoto, Rone and Meggs, along with Austin locals Mouf, Truth, Lucas Aoki and Ana Maria, will continue working on The Impossible Wall Project through Sunday, March 22 at 10:00 PM.
You can check out the murals for free at Brick Oven located at 1209 Red River St, Megalomedia at 901 Barton Springs Rd, on Cesar Chavez Street at 1619 E Cesar Chavez St and the Spider House, located at 2908 Fruth St.
Can't make it to Austin? You can follow the artists' progress with @Spratx/Instagram.
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We’re right in the middle of SXSW, and if you’re lucky enough to be in attendance this year chances are that AUS will be in your plans. We discussed some of our favorite airport eats last year, and the same holds true in 2014—get some ice cream and barbeque before departing town. This year Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is rolling out the welcome mat for visitors yet again, as they’re bringing plenty of live music and other entertainment right into the terminal.
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Even though the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival doesn't begin until this weekend, the city of Austin, TX was already in quite a flutter yesterday, with the arrival of their first transatlantic flight. Even better is that the airline is British Airways, who've put their brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the nonstop route. Right now, the flight only operates five times a week, but will increase to daily service as soon as this May.
Texans used to flying other airlines and connecting to London can check out a sample of one of the plane's seats as part of a pop-up British Airways experience in the lobby of Austin's Driskill Hotel. Of course, there's always our own 40-image photo gallery and a few things the BA 787 has that other airplanes do not.
If you're headed to Austin next week without a SXSW badge there is still plenty to do, and most of it is free too.
Among the best of the badge-free activities is Rachael Ray's Feedback. Forget whatever preconceived notions you might have about TV's perkiest host because no matter what you think of her, the girl can throw a party.
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We call bullsh*t on TMZ.
Earlier this week, attendees of Austin, Texas' SXSW festival and, by extension, the entire internet, got in a huge uproar over the VIP treatment and attention paid to one festival attendee in particular. That attendee was a catthe meme-famous "Grumpy Cat."
Grumpy Cat (whose real name is "Tardar Sauce," or "Tard" for short), headed to Austin for several days to do some promo work for Friskies and pose with legions of adoring fans, some of whom waited in line for hours just to get a Facebook-worthy photo with the naturally frowny kitty.
TMZ pounced on the story, blowing it up with an "exclusive" in their characteristic way, claiming "Grumpy flew first class ... and she's been living it up ... with her own, full-time assistant to brush her, an endless supply of Friskies as well as other treats, bottled water and her very own room at a four-diamond hotel ... king-sized bed included."
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For those heading to or from SXSW down in Austin this week or next we’ve got one recommendation for you—save some time for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Sure it’s not quite the same as what the festival has to offer downtown, but definitely don’t dread heading back to the airport a little early. Thankfully the airport has plenty of local flair to make Austin proud, so even if your flight gets in before your hotel is ready—it might just be worth hanging around for a few as a brief introduction to Austin.
The very first sanctioned shows of the festival finish up today, as the annual SXSW Airport Showcase will do its thing on March 12 between 1pm and 3pm and then again between 3:30pm and 5:30pm. Everything takes place over by Gate 10 on the Asleep at the Wheel stage, and the artists and musicians will be back on March 18 to start closing things down.
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We believe there is a saying perfect for SXSW: "Man cannot live on (free) bread alone." Though the festival of music, film and tech loves to see its attendees gorging on complimentary nibbles at events all over Austin, sometimes one must sit down to a full, honest meal.
Whether you're looking for a restaurant to treat a potential business partner or just hankering for a Texas-sized donut, here's our highest recommendations:*
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It's that time again. Austin's permanent residents are gearing up to welcome the influx of out-of-towners for this year's South by Southwest Festival (SXSW).
"You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas." - Davy Crockett
This year you'll be just as likely to see Skrillex eating some Stubb's BBQ as you are a talk entitled "Learn How to Stop Letting Your Desk Job Make You Fat, Sick & Dead." SXSW has clearly evolved from what was once just a week-long event where bands from all over the world try to get signed to a record deal.
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Now that the tech and social media part of the SXSW Festival is over and done and the Google party confetti long since in the dustbin, it's time to look back. What exactly happens during SXSWi, the "interactive" portion of the fest? Well, to put it simply, there's lots of partying, lots of attempting to look cool and social while staring at your phone reading Twitter, and a few panel discussions here and there. Tens of thousands of people attended, and for each of them there's like 7 more who wish they had.
Specifically, there's 71,462 people who wish they had gone to SXSW this year. That stat comes from this brilliant infographic. If you're one of the 71,000+, then check it out for a little taste of what was missed. Otherwise it's time to start planning now for SXSW 2013. Really, it is.
SXSW Interactive will return next year March 8-12. Pencil it in, clear the sched and keep watch here for more updates. And pass the PBR.