Rooftop @ SXSW: The Long Road to Austin


Danielle Kourtesis is the Music and Outreach Manager for Rooftop Films; look for more SXSW coverage from her and the rest of the Rooftop crew throughout the week.

It took me a long time to get to Austin. First I flew to Dallas, then to San Antonio, and then I boarded a bus to the capital city. That’s what you do when you want to go to SXSW but have very little money. I think I saved several hundred dollars using that convoluted route and I saw some interesting things on the way. For example, there is a hallway filled with rocking chairs in the San Antonio airport and “The Largest Flea Market in the U.S.” is on I-35.

Plus, the road from San Antonio to Austin has three more Cracker Barrels than New York City, which is good news to me. That said, from the moment I left my apartment in Downtown Brooklyn to my arrival at the doors of the Red Roof Inn in South Austin, it took twelve hours. So I was tired when I arrived at the SXSW Film program’s Closing Night shindig at Maggie May’s.

The free drinks and cigs were a surprising pick-me-up and I bumped into some old high school friends, which is always great. Josephine Wheelwright (actress, You Wont Miss Me) was there with Lena Dunham (director, Creative Non-Fiction) and we made plans to see Lena’s film on Wednesday. I also spent some time with the Rooftop guys and they introduced me around. I’m a SXSW rookie, and they are veterans, so I was happy to benefit from their advice.

Dan says that I should find all the parties with free drinks and food, but I’m not sure there are as many of those during the music part of the festival. Maybe I’m wrong. If so, hit me up on Twitter. Today is the first official day of SXSW Music so I have a busy schedule ahead of me.

I’m off to 6th Street to see what’s going on…