The Luv Doc: To Band or Not to Band?

Yes, you can do SXSW totally commando

The Luv Doc: To Band or Not to Band?

Dear LuvDoc,
SXSW is coming up and I can’t decide if I should buy a wristband or just wing it and RSVP to a bunch of day parties? Please advise.
- Taylor

Goddamn it, Taylor, dispensing advice on whether or not to buy a wristband around here is risky business. I know you’re probably blissfully unaware, but SXSW volunteers are crawling all over this place like undercover FBI agents at an Occupy rally, and when I say “crawling,” I mean that literally. Los honchos are totally amped up on adrenaline, Monster Energy Drink, and raw, unchecked power. Standing up straight or looking them in the eye is taken as a sign of insolent aggression and sends them into fits of violent, aggressive rage. Even the paid staff scurry down the halls hunched over like hyenas … and the SXSW volunteers? They crawl around on all fours with their eyes to the ground. They don’t even get to abuse the interns – which is crazy because … how do they even get the dog shit off the soles of their shoes?

So anyway, I am typing this on my personal laptop in the janitor’s closet (aka The Executive Washroom” as in, “yes, there’s a toilet in here, but light a match when you’re finished”) because, frankly, I don’t want one of those firestarter-gaze interns standing over my shoulder fact-checking my shit with an iPhone 5 seconds after I type it. Therefore, unencumbered by the restraints of factual accuracy, I can give you the real truth.

Yes, you can do SXSW totally commando – badgeless … unwristbanded … just wandering around uncredentialed from day party to day party, subsisting on leftover radishes from decimated vegetable platters and the sputtering remains of floated kegs; you can listen to wretched, no-name bands playing on stages cobbled together with particle board and leftover shipping pallets through PA systems that make them sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher; and you can wait in long lines at Porta-Potties with walls that look like Jackson Pollack painted them with a honey dipper truck hose.

Yes, you can do SXSW like that. It’s also possible that by either lucky accident or shrewd planning that you might pluck a few pearls from that fetid, rotting oyster and count yourself a rich man for it. I won’t stop you – even though I have a sneaking suspicion that some of these SXSW volunteers would like to rough you up a bit. You must (and I trust you will) listen to your heart. But your heart might also tell you that it’s worth a few hundred bucks to roll with the big boys … or, if it’s a huge bill, right after them. One thing is certain: SXSW is big enough for everyone.

Need some advice from the Luv Doc? Send your questions to the Luv Doc, or check out the Luv Doc Archive.

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Dan Hardick

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