SXSW posts signs in bathrooms opposing controversial Texas ‘bathroom bill’

Days after a Texas Senate panel approved Texas’ controversial “bathroom bill,” South by Southwest organizers are speaking out against the bill, which prohibits transgender-friendly bathrooms in schools, universities and government buildings.

PHOTOS: Bathroom bill protest at the Capitol on March 7, 2017

SXSW organizers placed signs in bathrooms at the festival, including in the Austin Convention Center. The signs read, in part, “We oppose discriminatory legislation such as the Texas SB6 ‘bathroom bill’ and support civil rights for all persons everywhere.”

These signs were placed in bathrooms at the Austin Convention Center. Phil Jankowski/AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The Senate committee approved Senate Bill 6 early Wednesday morning, nearly 21 hours after a public hearing that drew hundreds to the Capitol to testify on the bill. Read more coverage of the bathroom bill here.


SXSW 2017: How to get around Austin without Uber and Lyft

Uber and Lyft’s departure from Austin last year has left South by Southwest-goers with one huge question: How do we get around?

Music fans wait in line for a taping of Austin City Limits to see J. Cole Saturday, March 21, 2015. Photo by Stephen Spillman

There are still options for ride-hailing services in Austin, and quite a few of them: Fare, Fasten, Get Me, Ride Austin, Wingz and zTrip are just six of the biggest options. But which one is the best? A few Statesman reporters teamed up with our 512tech team to test out those six services and we ranked them based upon wait time, trip time, cost, app ease of use and overall experience. Check out the results.

In town for SXSW? Welcome! Check out our guide to the city

Where’s the party at? Find one with our unofficial guide to the best parties SXSW 2017

Our No. 1 piece of advice for maneuvering SXSW? Don’t use your car. Find more tips in our SXSW Survival Guide.

Take a break from SXSW crowds and ride around town in the VICELAND Bus

Tired of walking? Want to get in a tricked-out bus with an unknown destination? Well, here’s your chance: The VICELAND Bus will be cruising around town during South by Southwest this year, giving festivalgoers a space to take a break from the crowds (and the heat or humidity or rain, if past SXSWs are any indication).

The VICELAND Bus is coming to SXSW. Photo via @vicelandbus/Instagram

VICELAND, the TV channel from VICE Media, has taken its bus to various cultural events like Comic Con, Outside Lands and the Women’s March on Washington, and now it’s coming to Austin from March 11-18.

Why do you care? Well, this bus has everything. Leather couches. A DJ booth. A karaoke machine. Free VICELAND swag. A chance to get a ride to an undetermined location without worrying you’re going to be kidnapped.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Wondering how to find the bus? You can find it using this map, or follow along on the bus’ Instagram for a peek inside.

Where’s the party at? Check out our guide to the best unofficial parties during SXSW 2017

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but where's #juiceboxthebear?

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Coming to SXSW: a pop-up ‘beach’ so you can surf in downtown Austin

You know it’s almost South by Southwest when you find out that a TV network is putting a beach in the middle of the city. So on that note, happy SXSW! TNT is installing a big ol’ surf simulator at Congress Avenue and West Fourth Street from March 11-13.

Rendering of the surf pop-up.

As a promotion for the “adrenaline-charged” series “Animal Kingdom,” which returns to the small screen on May 30, the cable network has announced a “pop-up beach complete with a giant FlowRider surf simulator” meant to bring the thrill of SoCal to downtown Austin. Attendees will be able to test their surf skills with help from some professional surfers (and the stars of the show might catch a wave or two, as well). There will be a beach lounge for those not ready or willing to hang ten. The beach will operate from 11 a.m to 7 p.m. each day.

Also at the pop-up beach: a sneaker bar, a beer garden, a live graffiti wall, a cast meet-and-greet on March 11 and plenty of “Animal Kingdom” swag.

So if you’ve ever felt like Texas beaches are inferior to those of the California coast, keep it to yourself for just one week.