South By Southwest, now in its 26th year, has seen its fair share of strange and wicked awesome happenings. Here’s our top 10 list of the wild and wonderful things that have occurred and could again.
1. You could party with Bill Murray.
Bill Murray is a perennial party crasher and is known for his SXSW appearances. Countless attendees have stories of Murray bartending, dancing and drinking it up in Austin, along with the pictures to prove it.
2. You could get punched by someone in the band you’re watching.
While we hope this doesn’t happen to you, bands have brawled with crowds and venue staff. In 2011 Ben Foster of now-defunct Screeching Weasel threw a punch at a fan after being hit by a cup. A$AP Rocky and his crew closed out 2012’s SXSW with an audience scuffle after one too many beer cans had been hurled up onto the stage.
3. You could have a pretty-person sighting.
SXSW invites beautiful musicians and actors to mix it up with us normies. Past pretty people include Aubrey Plaza, Rooney Mara, Kanye West and Matthew McConaughey. Bonus points if you catch McConaughey dancing like he did last year at Auditorium Shores, i.e. laughably strangely.
4. You could get caught in a riot.
Death From Above 1979 played its first show in five years in 2011, inciting a mini-riot as attendees clamored to climb the Beauty Bar’s fence into the at-capacity venue. Cops on horses showed up and, naturally, the crowd began throwing beer bottles at both. FYI, The Daily Texan does not condone rioting or throwing beer bottles at horses or their cops. Just sayin’.
5. You could be unknowingly interviewed for a hilarious mockumentary.
Funny people Fred Armisen and Flight of the Conchords have both filmed their own parody documentaries about SXSW, in 1998 and 2006, respectively. And yes, these videos are truly as great as they sound.
6. You could discover the next Hanson.
Who doesn’t want to claim they heard “MMMbop” before everyone else? Hanson was discovered and signed not at an official showcase, but at SXSW’s annual softball game in 1995.
7. You could see an amazing show on a bridge or in a parking garage.
Although they’re seemingly few and far between, guerrilla shows have upped the excitement and spontaneity of SXSW. In 1997 The Flaming Lips hooked up 30 car stereos in a downtown garage and conducted a cassette tape symphony. No Age and F—ked Up surprised us in the wee hours of the morning with a gig on the James D. Pfluger Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge in 2008.
8. You could watch a band get arrested.
Ozomatli led its crowd out of a venue and into the streets while playing its instruments in 2004, nearly inciting another riot. The police arrested two band members and the band’s manager and the three spent the night in jail. Ryan Biornstad of STRFKR was arrested while unloading his equipment in the street in 2011 but was freed 10 hours later.
9. You could meet the greatest music journalist ever.
Nardwuar the Human Serviette is the ultimate music journalist and has been stopping by SXSW for years. He’s known for digging up relics and stories from his interviewees’ pasts, often evoking the response, “How did you know?”
10. You could see Justin Timberlake.
Admit it, we’re all on JT Watch 2013. Rumors have begun circulating that Timberlake will indeed be joining us in Austin next week. I think I speak for all of us when I say Timberlake will receive the warmest of Texas welcomes.