For Angelenos and New Yorkers landing in Austin for South By Southwest, the first party paradigm you need to know is that the Texas capital has Uber, and it’s better than in L.A. Unlike our Uber-free airport, Austin’s part-time Prius drivers can pick you up curbside.
For SXSW, phones can also order massages on demand or Priv, which is like getting Blushington or Drybar to make an on-demand housecall. All of these can help you recover from, prepare for and get to the gatherings of digital, film and music invaders.
Last year, there were 177 official parties over the festival’s 10 days, and that’s not counting the trouble you could get into wandering north towards the University of Texas (U.T. is on spring break during SXSW).
Here’s what people will be talking about in Austin. When in doubt, just go to the W Hotel lobby; it’ll look just like its cousins on Hollywood Blvd. and Union Square.
Jimmy Kimmel Live in Austin
The Long Center for the Performing Arts, Monday, March 16-Thursday, March 20
The meanest tweets will come from those who don’t get tickets to the tapings on the other side of the river when Kimmel returns for his second year of live shows.
Delta’s Festival Shuttle: LAX-AUS
Friday, March 13
For Sundance, Delta filled up a plane with industry insiders and some talent (like current Utah defendant Emile Hirsch) to head out to Park City, and gave away trips to Beijing and France on-board while making a play for deeper relationships with the film production community. Now they’re doing it again with a bunch of “tech heads.”
The flight takes off on the first day of the fest and I’ve scored a seat, so I can testify that this is the diametric opposite of Rihanna’s seven-day, seven-country, seven-concert tour plane mutiny of 2013.
Sneak Preview: “Community Season 6”
Brazos Hall, Saturday, March 14
Three days before the show debuts its “predestined” sixth season on Yahoo!, fans in Austin can get a sneak peek. Producer Dan Harmon will do a “Harmontown” live podcast and a red carpet will precede the unveiling of the new format on a screen much bigger than a computer.
By SXSW 2016, it could be time to premiere “the movie.”
“Breakfast Club” Breakfast with Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy
Paramount Theatre, Monday March 16
My only gripe with this cool and quirky throwback is that the principals at Universal didn’t schedule this for Saturday morning.
Instead, the full day of willing detention, including breakfast with Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy, screening of a remastered print in honor of the movie’s 30th birthday, and a Q&A with the two female detainees falls on Monday, a school day.
Nicholas Hoult Hosts Party for Jaguar & Wired
The Hangar Lounge, Friday, March 13
The “X-Men” and “Mad Max” star has Drake Doremus’ “Equals” coming out later this year, with Kristen Stewart and Guy Pearce. Before that, he’s the face launching U.K. software engineers The Boffin Lab’s Austin presence and their collaboration with Jaguar.
While the tech lounge will be open to the public the rest of the weekend, Friday night’s cocktails are for those on the list only.
Saturday and Sunday, March 14-15
It’s the “united nations”: Roc Nation and Live Nation.
They will come together under one roof. Specifically, it’s Jim Pallotta’s roof (the billionairre investor, hedge fund winner, and Celtics and Italian soccer club A.S. Roma owner).
By day, it’s high level, c-suite level talks amongst captains of various industries. By night, the microphones get passed to musicians inside the attached Arlyn Studios. In the past, Jimmy Cliff, Haim, Solange have played for crowds like Kanye and Ashton Kutcher. Big Sean plays interactive weekend this year.
Dell’s Preview Night of the Fader Fort presented by Converse
Tuesday, March 17
It was only last year that Grammy golden boy Sam Smith was playing here. A musical four-leaf clover of good luck will grace those invited to the preview night of music venue The Fader Fort on 5th St.
Passion Pit headlines and attendees will get a wristband good for the rest of the week.
Tumblr “Fuck Yeah” Party with “Entourage”
Monday, March 16 – Mohawk (912 Red River St.)
The movie doesn’t come out until June 5, but the promotion starts before St. Patrick’s Day.
All five leading men plus creator/director Doug Ellin be at the party that goes as long as Vince’s “Medellin” saga, six-and-a-half hours. From 6.30 p.m. onwards, local heroes Spoon and multiple-booked ASTR are on the bill.
Duplass Brothers Party
STK Supper Suite at Swift’s Attic, Sunday Night, March 15
The Duplass brothers (Mark and Jay) have the buzzed-about “Adult Beginners,” “Manson Family Vacation,” and “6 Years” at the festival. They’ll bring the casts (including Jason Schwartzman and Nick Kroll) together under the same traveling dinner party roof that hosted Julianne Moore and J.K. Simmons on the eve of their Oscar wins a few weeks ago.
NYLON Presents SXstyle Closing Party
Tuesday, March 17 (401 Sabine St.)
They just had Oscar winner Patricia Arquette at their party with Rita Ora less than two weeks ago. Their fashion-facing SXStyle party will be on-target with their millennial core, with female swede performer “Ellie” Elliphant (she tours with Charli XCX and worked with Dr. Luke) as well as fashion mainstay Mia Moretti.
Saturday night, March 14
The digital comedy channel from Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Reggie Watts and others launched at SXSW two years ago.
On Saturday night of opening weekend, Watts will be the Mixer in Chief, getting the outlet’s friends and family together for comedy, cocktails, and eats in a Fullscreen and Jash collaboration.
“The Walking Dead” Creators’ “Superfight by Night”
Holy Mountain, 617 E. 7th St., Friday March 13
Cocktails, a DJ and card tables for anyone who wants to jump in on “Superfight,” the argument card game that has become the basis of one of Maker Studios’ original series.
The invite warns that, unlike the low-limit/high-limit tables in Vegas, the cards being cut on the Texas tables will be the “red deck.” That means brace yourself for Rated R-guments.
And Keep an Eye Out For…
– “The Simpsons’” roving Kwik-E-Mart food truck doling out “Not So Very Cherry” Squishees …
– Tumblr’s “IRL” Series: Before Wiz Khalifa’s baby birthday party became a serialized TMZ story and Charli XCX’s “Boom Clap” went large, those artists played Tumblr’s “IRL” (In Real Life) series, bringing fan blogs to life with exhibits and concerts. The series comes to Austin for the first time with names like Travi$ Scott, Courtney Barnett and Odesza.
–Nylon throwing parties with the dFm, and Spin Magazine’s annual Friday “day party” at Stubbs will bring in Run the Jewels, Twin Shadow and Earl Sweatshirt on Friday Mar. 20.
– GQ’s branded content program “Jam in the Van,” where artists play inside a tatted-up old ice cream truck, music at Floodfest at Cedar Street from Run the Jewels (again), Best Coast, and Win Butler from Arcade Fire, “Rdio Presents at SXSW 2015” showcase with Heartless Bastards and King Tuff at Fair Market on Sunday March 15, which follows De Nolet, Ketel One’s two-day set of concerts during the interactive portion of the opening weekend with Wrestlers, Penguin Prison, and the booked-everywhere ASTR.
– Stubhub goes festival-style itself, putting on three days of day-to-night shows at Clive Bar on Rainey St. from Tuesday to Thursday. The pre-show cocktail parties before the crowds show up at 9 p.m. will get secured access to The Vaccines and The War on Drugs.
– Finally, Neon Gold rocks the last night of the festival (March 21) with Marina & The Diamonds and MS MR at the Empire Control Room.
Please send additional bookings, tips, and invites to Mikey Glazer at Mikey@thehcimp.net