South by Southwest is a total-city takeover. It’s a hub for technology, new ideas and networking. It’s an annual epicenter for innovation. Set in downtown Austin, the city’s ever-expanding gentrification is visible to first-timers SXSW enthusiasts and veterans alike. Sleek, clean apartments boast storefronts on the first floor, driving foot traffic in a New Orleans’ Mardi Gras type of way. The city itself comes alive accounting for over $317 million of Austin’s 2015 GDP. The stops below are some spots SCP hit on opening day 2016.
Damn Brewing Co. Lot
Our first stop was Anheuser-Busch’s parking lot takeover complete with drink vouchers for their new Best Damn Root Beer. The live music set the tone for the rest of the upbeat and active day.
Placed directly across the street from the Austin Convention Center, McDonald’s filled an entire indoor/outdoor venue with virtual reality technology, live music, all you can eat fresh food and an open bar. The trendy atmosphere and decor made for a wonderful experience.
Continuing the bar crawl segment of the day, Bat Bar’s sleek two-level layout can fill to a sizable capacity while not feeling on top of anyone. The live music really ramped up to a fever pitch at just the right time of the night.