SXSW
Non-hipster travels: Austin – Keeping it weird by not keeping it weird

It’s no secret that Austin is… a creative place, to say the least. Hipsters, artists, and recent college grads make their homes in Austin after trying out several other areas (at least half the locals I’ve met moved here from other parts of Texas, Cali, and the Midwest!). According to Wikipedia, the best source of travel info (right?), Austin takes the idea of Texas independence, and puts a liberal spin on it.

 

Once you put a music festival on top of that, things get cray.

 

SXSW isn’t necessarily a hipster festival. They have an extremely diverse music selection, from foreign rock bands to electronica to mariachi to Kendrick Lamar. Y’know, something for everyone! Yet, the hipsters were everywhere!

 

Now, I’m a simple man, with simple needs and simple style. Forget outrageous outfits; a simple t-shirt (no wild colors) and loose fitting blue jeans will suffice. I won’t judge a pair of colorful skinny jeans, but it’s not my thing. So, when I was told that I stand out by not looking hipster-y, I wasn’t surprised. Instead, I thought it would be fun to roam the city, hang out with hipster-looking people, and try something new. The results were interesting.

 

Spotify House:

Gave off a frat house vibe, except cooler (sorry Sigma Chi!). Free drinks and a ping pong table were accompanied by a DJ with a dancing duck outside of what looked like a house painted green (actually a restaurant/bar). The hipsters were out in full force, alone with some bros. I’m not quite sure if bros are less or more hipster than me, but I digress. The point is, it was laid back, and most people were chilling, drinks in hand. I didn’t feel too out of place, sitting on a beach chair.

 

Hipstamatic:

That’s right! I went to something called Hipstamatic! Upon walking in, we were greeted by a giant, stuffed bear with a rose in its mouth, because “why not?” Hipsters to the left, hipsters to the right, and even the DJ was a Mexican hipster! VEGA from Neon Indian was pretty awesome, with masterful control of the turntables. Throughout his set, the audience kept bringing “offerings” of Mexican sweet corn (which they were giving out for free), drinks, and napkins. It was kind of like a shrine. All the while, I just danced, and ended up with some free shades, which I wore for the hell of it. Keepin’ it indie!

 

Austin Welcomes the World:

This was probably the least hipster-y event that I found. Might’ve had something to do with all the parents here, because it was touted as an event for all ages, hosted at Austin City Hall. Not to say that it was kids’ music; it certainly wasn’t. But the event was much more tame (and drink-free). The acts weren’t very hipster either, with an upbeat Japanese, harder French, and an Italian rock bands keeping things foreign. Language barriers aside, both hipsters and non-hipsters alike seemed to enjoy the show, including the hipsters hula-hooping to the music.

 

Point of all this: non-hipsters stick out like a sore thumb, but not a single eff is given. Anyone can rock out (or thug out) and have fun, because few things unite people more than free music and booze. And tacos, definitely tacos.