While this is the fifteenth airline leg so far this year, the current episode of ‘Where’s Ewan This Week?’ has nothing to do with the Eurovision Song Contest (okay, almost nothing, Manga are in town and I might bump into the boys in a Turkish bar). I’m en route to Austin, Texas, for my ninth trip to South by Southwest.
This is actually a strange feeling. The last few trips (Finland, Estonia, and especially Latvia) have felt like real adventures, to new locations (or in the case of Helsinki, seeing far more of the city and the surrounding suburbs than previously). But I’ve done the drag to Austin countless times for SXSW and more, so much of the trip feels like bumping into an old friend. I’ve stayed in the same hotel for the last six years, and there’s a comfort in knowing what to expect.
And that sums up SXSW for me. it’s a mix of exploration and new discoveries, along with old friends and familiar surroundings. Every year I have arrived at SXSW with a rough idea of what’s going to happen but leave much of the planning up to serendipity. Every year that has thrown up some amazing technology, new friendships that have endured, wonderful memories, and mentally fired me up ideas and inspiration.
As usual you can keep an eye on some of the fun from the Texan state capital on SXSW Baby!, with daily posts of things to do, thoughts on the event as it progresses, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be posting a few podcast interviews on the site.
If you are in Austin over the next two weeks and want to meet up for a chat, show me something fun, share some music, or anything else, then get in touch. The usual social media channels will work, but email is still the best (firstname.lastname@example.org).