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SXSW Week Two- Red Fan in the Trenches

We made it! SXSW is officially over. Red Fan happily spent the latter half of SXSW enjoying more films, more parties and even the first lady.

Here are Media Strategist Kristen O’Brien’s final thoughts on SXSW 2016.

SXSW Film: Awards and bromances

Film made its last hurrah with the announcement of the SXSW Audience Awards.

Festival Favorite went to “Gleason”, the emotional documentary about NFL star Steve Gleason’s battle with ALS, and local favorite, “Honky Tonk Heaven: Legend of the Broken Spoke” won the 24 Beats Per Second category.

The last giggle was at Pee Wee’s Big Holiday red carpet premiere with Paul Reubens and Joe Manganiello (who arrived with wife Sofia Vergara on his arm.) Manganiello said he grew up watching the Pee Wee Herman show and was excited to meet Reubens at an HBO Emmy party when he was still playing in the True Blood series. “My publicist pointed him out and said, ‘Oh my god that’s Pee Wee Herman’ and I got up and worked my way through this crowd and said, ‘I am your biggest fan,’ and then we made plans to hand out, exchanged numbers and became buddies.” A true bromance!

SXSW Music: Legends, Chvrches and boots

Grammy and Oscar-winning musician John Legend was in town to promote his AXE Collective, musicians that he handpicked from a nationwide search to join the Collective and accompany him to play at SXSW at the Belmont on March 17.

Since Legend was in mentor mode, it was fun to ask him what advice he’d give to his younger self, “Don’t be afraid to try new things, to collaborate with new people, and don’t be afraid of ‘no,’” he replied. “Sometimes you are going to get rejection and sometimes you’re going to fail at something you try, but don’t be afraid of that.”

Spotify House was hopping for five days of music and on Thursday Chvrches, the Scottish electronic band performed with the pixie-like Lauren Mayberry enchanting the audience with her voice as well as in-between songs. And at the Swan Dive, FRYE Days was going on in conjunction with FRYE boots. The drinks were flowing here and Wild Child was playing to a packed house in the backyard.

At FADER Fort by Converse, Drake put in an electric, surprise one night only performance Saturday night. Celebs spotted in the VIP area included Lily Rabe, Erykah Badu, Kelly Rowlands and Hannibal Burress.

Finally, Red Fan had the pleasure of accompanying presenting sponsor Metropia to the KGSR broadcast live from The W Austin. From local favorites like Bob Schneider to up-and-comers like Jack Garratt and Joseph, Austinites had the chance to listen in to a private, mostly acoustic two-song set from over 30 bands over four days.

Kristen’s Highlight of the Week

A definite highlight was Michelle Obama giving the keynote speech at the kick off to SXSW Music while having fun girl time on stage with Missy Elliott, Sophia Bush and Queen Latifah. The main topic was on breaking down education barriers for girls and shedding light on the lack of opportunities for the 62 million girls around the world not enrolled or able to attend school.

But the talk also turned to whether Obama would run herself for president one day, (she said she won’t) and what she will miss most about being at the White House, to which she replied, “You all, you are going to make me cry, the young people, the young people keep me inspired, I see myself in you all. I know if I can do this and be here then you can do it too. Spending that time with you all, touching you all, laughing with you, I will miss that as First Lady. But I am going to keep doing this for the rest of my life.”


SXSW’s hottest party

3TEN: Can’t Hardly Wait, the Happy Hour was a sneak peak of the new ACL Live sister venue located next to the ACL Live Box Office on 2nd street. 3TEN is a 350-person capacity, state-of-the-art showcase room reverently reminiscent of the original ACL Studio 6A at the University of Texas. And of course it’s the embodiment of style and technological innovation with the most advanced audio and lighting systems available to deliver top-notch live music. It also happens to be designed by Red Fan’s own Sanders Architecture!

We sincerely hope everyone is recovering well from SXSW. Until next year!

In the meantime, be sure to follow Red Fan on Instagram and Twitter for the latest Austin news!

In the top most photo, the top left, top right and bottom left photos are courtesy of Kristen O'Brien. The bottom right photo is courtesy of Getty Images for Spotify. The final photo is courtesy of Kathleen Lucente.

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