South By Southwest is in full swing, which means crowds. Crowds everywhere, full of people with panels and parties to attend.
Many of those people forgot (or didn’t know) that Uber and Lyft no longer operate within the Austin city limits. And when it rains all weekend, as it did last weekend, people got upset at the gouged prices and long wait times for Austin alternatives Fasten and RideAustin.
Local ride-hailing service RideAustin posted on Facebook early Sunday morning that its database locked up throughout most of the evening Saturday, and Kirill Evdakov, CEO of Fasten, confirmed that service also had problems, beginning a little after 8 p.m. Saturday. He called SXSW, rainy weather, and glitches with other services simultaneously “a perfect storm” that led to Fasten receiving about 12 times as many ride requests as normal.
However, many people who arrived in town Thursday night for SXSW Interactive were well aware of the ridesharing situation in Austin. The following is from breaking news reporter Katie Hall, who went out to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Thursday night to interview conference-goers.
Britt Deyan, of San Francisco, landed in Austin on Thursday night for SXSW Interactive. Deyan said that SXSW had been good about sharing the fact that Uber and Lyft no longer gave rides in Austin.
“Every communication I was sent about SXSW told me Uber wasn’t here,” Deyan said as she climbed into a taxi.
Alisa Hetrick and Sami Huerta, both of Minneapolis, also grabbed a taxi after landing at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Hetrick and Huerta said they had been told by friends in Austin, who invited them to SXSW, that Uber and Lyft didn’t operate in Austin.
A group of six Mashable employees huddled together outside the airport after landing in Austin, discussing the ride-hailing app RideAustin. Their company had called a car ahead of time to pick them up, they said. A few of the people in the group said they were well aware of the fact that Uber and Lyft left Austin because their website had written about it. One of them, however, was not.
“I didn’t know until just now,” she said, after asking the reporter for ride-hailing app suggestions. “After the tragedy that happened a couple years ago at SXSW, I think they’re asking for another tragedy.” She declined to give her name.
What about you? Have you been having a tough time getting around at SXSW? Let us know in the comments.
Statesman reporters Katie Hall and Elizabeth Findell contributed to this report.
Austin actor Matthew McConaughey made waves this week after video was released of a BBC One interview he did over the weekend. The video has since been deleted, but in the segment, interviewer Andrew Marr asked the “Gold” star whether it’s time “Hollywood and the cultural elite of America” gave Trump a break.
McConaughey’s answer? “He’s our president. It’s very dynamic and divisive of an inauguration in time that we’ve ever had. At the same time, it’s time for us to embrace.”
The actor known for his “just keep livin'” ethos went on to say, “Shake hands with this fact, and be constructive with him over the next four years. So even those that most strongly disagree with his principals or things he’s said or done, which is another thing, we’ll see what he does compared to what he had said. No matter how much you even disagreed along the way, it’s time to think about how constructive can you be. Because he’s our president for the next four years, at least. President of the United States.”
Fan reaction on social media to the statement was mixed. Some argued that McConaughey was “as dense as the characters who made him famous,” while many social media users remarked that they were glad a celebrity wasn’t advocating for a complete overthrow of the government (like Madonna and Sarah Silverman have done in recent weeks).
And yes, everyone made the same “This is not alright, alright, alright” joke, but one Redditor went for this (now obvious in hindsight) joke instead: “He’s alt-right, alt-right, alt-right…”
Here’s the best of the rest in McConaughey reaction online:
Have you ever noticed the Boy Who Lived and Frodo Baggins have always looked a bit similar? Or at least, the actors who portray them do.
“Harry Potter’s” Daniel Radcliffe and Austin-resident Elijah Wood both stand under 5 feet 7 inches, have fair skin and large blue eyes. It’s not hard to see why people might get the two actors confused. But for anyone who argues they don’t see the resemblance, you might want to take a look at this GIF circulating on Reddit.
Created by someone a few days ago on Imgur, the GIF shows Wood morphing into Radcliffe, showing their rather creepy similarities. If you’re not paying close attention, you might just think it’s one of the actors changing expressions.
Not that this is the first time someone’s taken note of the pair’s resemblance. Here’s Radcliffe on “The Graham Norton Show” talking about one time a fan asked him to sign a photo of Wood.