My 2018 SXSW Diary

Emily Treadgold #2, Festivals Leave a Comment

SXSW is hell week, but in a good way. This year I was planning a day party (girls to the front) as well as doing press which means a ton of interviews every day and getting videos and live-tweeting. I drink 5 hour energies nonstop and think all together I ate 3 slices of pizza for the 7 days total and I walked more than I've ever walked. It's exhausting but so rewarding. 

Tuesday

Tuesday is actually a pretty easy day for me which is good because I’m just getting over a bout of strep throat. I start off at Pledgehouse which is at Blackheart. I love this venue because the stage is so small which makes the performances super intimate. First I watch Morgan Saint who is just so adorable and sweet and her voice is so unique, also my friend Cass is her producer and guitarist so I’m stoked to see them, I’m interviewing Lola Marsh right after. I head to the convention center and think about getting food, but no, not now, I tripped on the stairs and Lola Marsh totally saw. They’re charmed by my use of the word “y’all” and we talk about opossums, I told them to watch out because they play dead and have rabies.  I go back to Blackheart to watch Sunflower Bean, they deserve all the hype. I’m not in love with the format of these shows because they do a live interview and I just want to see them perform more songs. Next up is Jade Bird who I am a little too excited to see, I'm front and center which must be awkeard for her because I'm literally just staring at her in awe the whole time. Her voice is truly incredible live, she has so much charisma and she can shake the room with just an acoustic guitar. After that I head to the She Shreds showcase which is all the way out at Sahara Lounge which is a haul, but worth it because it’s a cool spot. I watch Speedy Ortiz but then my nausea overcomes me (strep) and I have to go home and rest.

Wednesday

Starting the day of with FF5 at the Nashville House, they have coconut rum cocktails which sort of feels like breakfast. FF5 are honestly a party of a performance. They dance, they sing, they cover Michael Jackson. I am now very awake. I’m FAMOUS for the quick walk I can do to get from 6th to Rainey so if you saw me full sprinting down Red River, yes, that was me. I make it to Bangerz to catch morgxn and he did an acoustic set which was HAUNTING before breaking into his smash hit “home” at the end. Next up is Lola Marsh (remember they saw me trip) and their music is just so shimmery and light and it just makes me happy. I head to Aloft to catch a very cool Bishop Briggs set. She’s on the roof and everyone is sitting on the ground cross-legged and it’s just her voice, it fills the entire room. I scarf down a slice of pizza and do an interview in the street. I caught Findlay at Central Presbyterian and I am now obsessed with her. Next up is the Neon Gold Showcase. Great Good Fine Ok is up first and it’s a rainbow colored dance party. Of course, I stay for Kitten, but I could talk about them forever so you'll have to wait. I walk inside to catch G-Flip, another new obsession. I stay until Cloves and theres a bunch of dude bros blocking my view. Dude bros now love Cloves I guess, which I think is good because they need to get in touch with their feelings. I leave the show because our party is tomorrow and I. Am. Tired.

Side story:

A drunk girl named Jackie ran into me after I left the Neon Gold show, she said all her friends left her and she hates them. I agree that they’re jerks but I have to go home. She says that’s fine she thinks her hotel is down the dark alley. The fact that SX and Spring Break coincide always blows my mind because who would dare be in Austin during hell week to not see shows. I don’t want to see her face on the news the next day and have to explain to her mom that I saw her and did nothing, so I told her I’d walk her to her hotel. The girl can’t type her passcode into the phone and it’s now disabled for one hour. She thinks its the Hampton Inn & Suites so I walk her to one of their locations. She tries to get into every single car that stops near us, man do people REALLY think we’re going to get into their cars? The people at the front desk are extremely nice and helpful. “I don’t know her or her friends, I’m worried about her,” I tell the lovely people at the Hampton. They can’t find her friend, they call other hotels, we finally found her. They give me her friend’s cell phone number and she doesn’t pick up. Wow, they really are jerks. I take her to the hotel, some guy signed a mixtape for her, I kind of hope she woke up and was like “wow I could’ve died maybe I should chill on the drinking.” ANYWAYS now I’m exhausted and I have to be awake in 3 hours.

Thursday

PARTY TIME! Hahahahaha, I laugh nervously as I pull up to the musx location and unload A TON OF GEAR with beautiful angel Jenna Million. She is stressed. I am too calm, I'm also very tired thanks to the drunk girl from the previous night. I go to the store to pick up snacks for the bands. Everything is going well. Bars are set up. Meridian Hive's mead is incredibly delicious and could be my new obsession, tastes like liquid honey. I shotgun a 5 hour energy. Jenna tells me we have all the DI boxes and I almost collapse in relief. Putting on this party was the most stressful thing I’ve ever done and I'll explain how we did it later. I spent a good portion of it pacing anxiously while Liz force-fed me almonds. Alice Phoebe Lou shows up and now it’s just a breeze. Violet Days I’ve been dying to see live since forever, jk since I interviewed them. Pearl Charles is like a western Lana Del Rey and she’s just as beautiful as her Instagrams. pronoun is just blowing up on Spotify right now and it’s mind-blowing to see her on our stage. Then Kitten, literally my favorite band. I saw them in Dallas two years ago and the show was life-changing. Now, they were performing in front of my banner and the energy was so intense. The audience was so welcoming and unpretentious. We danced to “Like A Stranger” we freaked out at the “Dreams” cover, then Chloe, in typical fashion, climbed into a tree to finish the last song. It was a dream come true. I can’t talk about it enough. It was the happiest day of my life. BUT THE WORK DON’T STOP THERE. I have interviews to do at the WFNM showcase. I head in, catch Cloves again, and I honestly was so worried I’d miss her and look here she is again. The money for me though is Kim Petras who has this one SX gig. Everyone’s there and we all turn up to “Faded” and “Heart To Break.” It’s amazing to see how quickly her career has taken off. I wait for Billie Eilish who is on my schedule for Friday too, but I mean why not?

Friday

So, Friday for me was all about interviews. I chat with Yoke Lore, Flint Eastwood, Cloves, and Gothic Tropic. The Cloves interview was really hilarious because a security team of ten large men had to walk me across auditorium shores for the interview. Flint Eastwood was crazy to see live. She really knows how to yell at an audience, she’s so bold and loud and intense. She’s wearing corduroy overalls which seems like an odd choice in this heat. I head up to VIP for another interview where a bartender asked me “what I had to do to get into VIP” then makes a blow-job type motion, I tell him that I’m a very important person and try to ignore it but the rage will sit with me for days. I now trek all the way to Alwyn studios over on Congress to catch my girl Merci Raines. The vibe of this place throws me off, everyone seems like a jerk, maybe I’m just in a bad mood. Merci is a queen though and she kills it. Her voice is so unique and she’s so sweet. I grab another slice of pizza, wait was that my only food today? Whatever. I’m back at Lustre Pearl for R.LUM.R, let me just glare at the bartender real quick. I order a diet coke, I know, slow down. The vibe in VIP is also not my favorite thing. R.LUM.R is so talented. Next up is Billie Eilish AGAIN, I know, but this time I get to listen to people talk about her not being talented. I turn around quickly, “She’s 16 and the song ‘bellyache’ was in NY Times for top 25 songs that show us the future of music, the lyrics are about being a psychopathic murderer and the writing is incredible, have you ever graced a SXSW stage or been told you were the future of music at the young age of 16 Jim who does IT at GM?” I never said I was in the nicest of moods but I will NOT have people talking smack about Billie. Sylvan Esso closes out the night and mellow me out a little. This was my longest day and I can’t wait to go to sleep.

Saturday

What a nice chill day I have ahead for me. I’m feeling relieved. I have to go to Whole Foods today for some interviews. I essentially live at Whole Foods already so welcome to my home musicians. I drink like 5 kombuchas, my gut health is feeling lit. I’m so healthy right now. FOXTRAX are a bright ray of sunshine and the kids dancing in front of the stage are so cute. There should be way more shows where kids can go, more all ages shows. I’ve always wondered why people want to only allow drinkers into concerts. I’m interviewing SUR next and he really puts on a show. I stand off stage to await my interview and these two girls come up to me and says, “Can we see our FRIENDS now?” in the snarkiest tone I’ve ever heard. “I don’t know who your friends are,” I respond, confused. “THOSE are our friends,” they say pointing to the band. “Ahh, yah, I don’t control that” and they duck under the rope and security yells at them. I feel oddly satisfied about this because it’s like if someone assumed I worked at Forever 21 and then someone at Forever 21 makes them leave for insulting you. I guess I just look extra cool because I have my laptop today. Now, I eat a Beyond Burger, it’s too “meaty” for my vegetarian taste. I head to Cheer Up Charlies to meet with friends and catch the tail-end of the Brooklyn Vegan show. Later, I head back to Lustre Pearl, we watch Albert Hammond Jr. and Cut Copy. Then we head to Bungalow because my main baes Liz and Steven are there and we feel like celebrating the end of this madness.

Sunday

Okay, so the only thing I have herw is that I took my friends to do some Austin things and we saw Bill Murray and now this is all anyone wants to hear about, we went to Hotel Vegas for Burgermania, we drank Armodelos at La Perla, then I took them to The White Horse to dance. I went off on some British guy who had a lot of misconceptions about Texans, sorry it's just in my nature to pick fights about these things. We went inside and we heard Bill Murray was there. He was requesting songs from the live bands and dancing like a maniac. He ignored people who talked to him but I get that. He stayed there really late because we left and he was still there dancing. It was literally THE celeb sighting. We couldn’t believe it. We hope he had a good time. It felt like a SXSW miracle.

  • Emily Treadgold

    Music aficionado and editor-in-chief at The New Nine. I'm most at home at festivals and concerts. I would love to start a band of all Kanye covers all on keys. I'm a dedicated Jack White fan and when I saw him in concert it changed my life. I'd never seen someone so passionate about music and preserving its history. Every project he does I just worship. Follow me on Twitter and Insta: @etreadgold

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