Austin proper doesn’t seem to extend further than 40 blocks square on the north side of Ladybird Lake, but it’s packed with venues â€“ 75 on the official programme and more doing their own thing on the fringe of the event. Despite this seeming superfluity of stages, even the delegates who’ve got official SXSW badges have trouble getting into the popular shows. Top tip if you come here is to pick a venue and stick with it if you don’t want to be stood in a queue all night.
That said, I caught some of the fringe bands last night, and while the talent was of varying quality I was mostly impressed. Simian Mobile Disco are a personal favorite, and their set in Antone’s was very well attended and recieved, despite their early (8pm) slot.