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SXSW Adventures

SXSW for newbies: 10 great tips and lessons on how to rock the mega-festival like a pro

Kei BaritugoChristopher Guy
Mar 7th, 2013

Santigold sang in a packed room at the SXSW Warner Sound showcase.

It is not mere exaggeration when you hear people say that South by Southwest (SXSW) is one crazy festival. Last year was our first time attending so we felt the need to read as many articles on how to do this festival right. Trust us when we say that researching this information was probably the best thing we did before flying out to the weird city of Austin, Texas. Yes, weird. And they like to keep it that way.

Photo courtesy of

However, as with everything else, experience is the best teacher. Here are some great money-saving tips and life-saving lessons we picked up while rocking the Interactive, Film, and Music festival for 10 days.

1. Book your accommodations as early as possible.

Said the Whale, The Sheep Dogs, Rich Aucoin, and more at the SXSW Canadian Blast Showcase

Christopher GuyKei Baritugo
Mar 27th, 2012

Vancouver's Said The Whale at Canadian Blast.

We couldn’t help but feel proud of our Canadian musicians who were showcasing their sound at SXSW this year. Here’s a photo recap of some acts we managed to catch at the Canadian Blast BBQ presented by CIMA.


Said the Whale performed songs from their new album "Little Mountain".

Spencer Schoening of Said The Whale behind the kit.

The hands of Jaycelyn Brown, keyboardist of Said The Whale.

Getting to know Bob Marley

Kei BaritugoChristopher Guy
Mar 23rd, 2012

Marley, the first family sanctioned documentary on Bob Marley, had its North American premiere at SXSW, and we were fortunate enough to attend it.

With a running time of 144 minutes, the film was certainly long but well worth it, especially if you’re a fan. The film gives audiences a peek into the private life of Bob Marley, with footage, photos, and song recordings people have never seen or heard before. Interviews with family members, close friends and associates gave the film authenticity as they remembered and honored his memory. Watching the film really made us feel like we got to know Bob Marley more as a person. 

The Q and A at the North American premiere of Marley.

The day following the premiere, we sat down for an intimate conversation with siblings Ziggy and Karen Marley, to talk about the film and the Marley name.

Perez Hilton raises $45K for The VH1 Save The Music Foundation at SXSW

Kei BaritugoChristopher Guy
Mar 23rd, 2012

It was a jam-packed evening of pop culture guilty pleasure at famed blogger and music enthusiast Perez Hilton’s “One Night in Austin” party at SXSW.

Since its debut, Hilton has taken “One Night In…” across the globe with events in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, and London.


This year is the fifth installment of his SX musical showcase. Headliner acts for the event were specially curated by Hilton to reflect an array of talent crossing multiple musical genres showcasing breakout acts from Kat Graham (Vampire Diaries), Rosi Golan to the most recognized names in music, including Timbaland, B.O.B, DEV, Dragonette, Kreayshawn, Ed Sheeran and more.

21 Jump Street delivers great laughs at SXSW

Kei BaritugoChristopher Guy
Mar 22nd, 2012

At the SXSW Festival in Austin, 21 Jump Street stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum win over crowds with self-deprecating humour. 

When we first heard about 21 Jump Street premiering at SXSW, we thought: Really? How could a remake of an 80’s cop show, where heartthrob Johnny Depp got one of his first starring roles, be a good idea for a feature film?


21 Jump Street really shouldn’t work but it does—in a very surprising way. It’s “Bad Boys” meets a John Hughes movie, as star Jonah Hill describes it, and it’s filled with plenty of laughs and bromance.

SXSW Film 2012 Award Winners

Kei BaritugoChristopher Guy
Mar 14th, 2012


The 2012 SXSW Film Festival hosted nearly 275 films which were selected from a record number of submissions (over 5,300) and comprised of approximately 2,000 features and 3,300 shorts. This was a seven per cent increase from 2011 despite moving the submission deadlines a month earlier than previous years. A total of 132 features (consisting of 74 world premieres, 17 North American premieres and 11 U.S. premieres) were screened, along with 138 shorts and 58 films from first time directors.

Women talk about fashion and technology while getting dolled up at Beauty Bar X

Kei BaritugoChristopher Guy
Mar 14th, 2012

From March 10th to the 12th, women trekked from all over town to get into Buyosphere's Beauty Bar X, where they enjoyed free manicures, massage, gifts, and more. 

Beauty is Embarrassing: The irreverent and inspiring story of prolific artist, Wayne White

Kei BaritugoChristopher Guy
Mar 14th, 2012

Ever wondered who created the offbeat set design for Pee-wee's Playhouse or the cool artwork for Smashing Pumpkin's "Tonight, Tonight" music video? We did. That's why we went to the premiere of Beauty is Embarrassing, a documentary on the talented, multi-faceted artist, Wayne White--the irreverent artist behind so many creative projects that made us say, "Who comes up with this?" out loud.

"Tonight is amazing. Everyone just wants their story told. This is a once in a life time experience, and I thank you very much," said White to the audience at the premiere of Beauty is Embarrasing in the SXSW Vimeo Theatre.

A designer, painter, puppeteer, sculptor, and musician, White's creations have inspired and influenced the postmodern pop art world for years, with very few people knowing or acknowledging that he has done so.

Robo-boxing, electo-tennis and more at the SXSW Interactive opening party sponsored by Frog and Microsoft

Kei BaritugoChristopher Guy
Mar 11th, 2012

The Palmer Events Centre exuded nerd cool last night at the SXSW Interactive opening party. The event was staged outdoors with trans/electro-rave music, as well as live, interactive gaming stations, where guests can mingle, play and network.

Electro Tennis is a giant interactive pong game. 

What made these gaming stations unique are the types of games guests can play. Electro Tennis, is like ping pong but bigger—30 x 30 feet of electro-mechanical interface using an aluminum carriage and computer controlled stepper motors. Two teams play against each other by moving paddles (not a joystick) while the game is tracked on the projection screen.

A guest giving the Light Trike game a go.

Metabridge and Digby host SXSW VIP lounge, North of 41 Canadian party

Kei BaritugoChristopher Guy
Mar 11th, 2012

L-R: Quinn Best (media producer, Metabridge), Dave Sikora (CEO, Digby), Steve Wandler (founder, Metabridge), Luis Banuelo, Dan Lowden (VP marketing, Digby).

Canadian industry leaders and VIP guests filled Metabridge and Digby’s VIP lounge, North of 41, yesterday at the Old School Bar and Grill on Austin’s famous 6th Street.

Flamenco guitarist, Luis Banuelos.

Guests were welcomed by a brilliant performance from Flamenco guitar player, Luis Banuelos, and a steady supply of complementary Molson Canadian beer.

Guests browsing start-up companies showcasing their products and services.

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