Technically, South by Southwest has been going on for a few days in Austin, so the rock bands that rolled into town today don't really have anyone to blame but themselves for finding themselves in big-as-Texas lines to get their festival badges. Because the music portion officially starts today, the top floor of the Austin Convention Center is filthy in bands from all around the globe waiting patiently for their credentials.
Downstairs, attendees wait for their "big bags" filled with fliers from labels and bands, and a few freebies from savvy marketers.
Outside, the side streets around the closed-off 6th Street are packed with cars trying to get on Interstate 35, which is also bumper to bumper. Luckily for these folks, if they roll down their windows they can hear the cacophony of dozens of bands simultaneously playing in every direction.
Even the fans are standing in line, like these folks outside the Radio Room. With 1,900 bands playing over just four days, may I suggest avoiding this type of line at all costs. The band across the street playing to no one might be just as amazing.
-- Photos, video and post by Tony Pierce