SXSW, or formally South By Southwest, is a week or more period of concerts and promotional events for bands, and other media such as TV shows or films. It’s a great time for fans to descend upon Austin TX, but such as any big event, it was marked by controversy, tragedy and joy.
Aside from crazy events like rapper Tyler, The Creator inciting a riot at his concert and being arrested for it, law enforcement had their hands full for the week. The saddest event of SXSW was when a man driving a stolen car with a lengthy criminal record slammed into a crowd of people, killing two and injuring many.
Though a chaotic week, there were happy moments. A friend of mine finally got to meet his idol, Lady Gaga, the night before her own controversial SXSW performance. This fan, Kyle, wrote to me: “I received an email from the admin at littlemonsters.com telling me where Gaga would be that gave the address and said ‘GO. NOW.'”
Kyle at that point was ready for bed, but he got up, braved Austin traffic, and miraculously arrived at the location without delay. Finding the only parking spot available and arriving just in time to meet her, he called the moment “meant to be”. He said after Gaga signed his tattoo of her, she stated she loved him, gave another fan waiting there her RayBan sunglasses, and Kyle raced to a nearby tattoo shop to get the signature inked. “It was surreal,” Kyle writes. “By 1 a.m. I had her signature with a star forever under my skin next to her portrait.”