OpenAir at SXSW: Mike Flanagan on last night's tragedy
Note: I have a newsy travelogue blog below but am superceding that to let you know the OpenAir @ SXSW crew is all fine this morning after last night's tragedy. Engineer Dave Fender was not in the area. I'd been there at another point in time but had moved on. Alisha Sweeney was inside the NPR Music show at Stubbs (we just missed each other) which is near the scene. She saw the news trucks and helicopters but had no idea a tragedy was unfolding. The rest of us are waking to this story as our friends in Denver are.
Couple of things about Austin and SXSW. There are a LOT of people on the street until very late at night. The Austin police do an amazing job of making everybody feel safe amidst a lot of chaos and amplified sound coming from all directions. Because of the way the huge crowds move you also have not much of a clue what is going on a block away.
This is one of those uncalled for, unplanned for, completely out of the blue incidents that leave the rest of us shaken and sad. There's no rhyme, reason, or schedule. Our coverage continues, the music never stops. Today is going to be quite different we are sure.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and families.
OpenAir at SXSW: Day Two blog
OK Alisha is an award winning social media whiz and I'm still learning how to type on something that won't let you load paper. And we were at the same Illegal Pete's Party in the Austin boonies last night, so I don't have a lot of other bands to report on. Still our paths diverged when I hitched a ride back to town with a former Warlock Pincher and ended up at a doughnut diner that specialized in heart stopping specials like a maple and bacon smothered fresh doughnut. Elvis is back in the building.
Today I attended a conference with masterminds from Pandora, Google Play, Beats Audio, and other services sure they are going to win whatever war they think is going on with terrestrial radio. Enlightening, I'll do a report on it soon. From there I got into trade show gumbo, and found out a lot of new products that most of us will never hear of. Most fun was my own personal geek around flip book courtesy of the New York Times, talking to the Australia about the Australia bands, getting an anime lesson in the Japan wing (comics, the universal language!), and imagining all the great technology ahead and the cool cases that will house them.
Radio meet and greet at El Azteca...the usual suspects, all about bringing new music to public radio and downing beef enchiladas. Got there by pedicab, had no idea how distant it was. Hitched a ride back into town and landed at Stubbs just in time for the NPR Music simulcast.
Right now I'm off to a rock and roll panel featuring Bob Mould. This should be an education.
More later from windy Austin!