SXSW 2018 started today, which is Austin’s big, tech, media, movie and music, super event. Every year, they seem to add another variant. I headed downtown, like I have for the last several years, to see what’s up.
The conference traditionally radiates from the convention center but often would spill on to East 6th Street. This year, however, 6th Street was noticeably quiet. Things seem to have shifted south-east towards Rainey Street with the shiny new hotel, the Fairmont, anchoring its center.
The Fairmont just opened, and on my first visit, I was more impressed with the hotel than anything SXSW related. People have said for years that SXSW has “jumped the shark” but this year, it feels like it. There seems to be less buzz and activity. Perhaps the venues are just spread further apart — I don’t know. But things felt less lively.
The Fairmont is a big slab of mirrored glass, while architecturally sedate, they’ve done a wonderful job inside. It’s probably my favorite hotel, which I’ll showcase tomorrow. It’s Austin’s latest upscale hotel, and also the largest.
I found the luxury hotel juxtaposed with a trailer park sign, interesting. This is not a real trailer park, of course. It a SXSW, hipster, food truck park — welcome to Austin.
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