By now, the news is out— Garth Brooks is indeed playing a free show Saturday night at Auditorium Shores for South By Southwest. He announced the free show at an 11 a.m. press conference Friday at the Austin Convention Center, where he previewed a snippet of his new single “Ask Me How I Know.”
Tickets for the show were available at noon Friday but sold out within minutes.
Brooks’ streaming partner, Amazon Music (he famously refused to put any of his music on any streaming service until October 2016) tweeted out that the show was sold out a mere five minutes after they went on sale.
Woah AUSTIN, @garthbrooks officially sold out in under 5 minutes! Thank you @sxsw and see you tomorrow night!!🤠
What does this mean? Are we to understand the implication of that tweet is that Garth Brooks LITERALLY the epitome of SXSW? Does his ego need to be fenced in? Is this just a shameless attempt to rope the wind of social media?
Maybe, but it also looks like the @SXSW part of that tweet was meant to literally mean “Garth Brooks is at the SXSW Conference” and not meant to equivocate Garth Brooks with the event.
At any rate, tomorrow will come, and it will bring a free Garth Brooks show.
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.
Have you always wanted to be more like Beyonce? Some South by Southwest attendees got the chance Sunday at the Mashable House, which had a backdrop nearly identical to the one in Queen Bey’s now-iconic pregnancy reveal (yeah, she’s having twins, we still can’t get over it).
He might not seem like the most obvious heartthrob, but when Bill Nye enters the building, people shriek. That was the scene Sunday morning at BookPeople, where Nye — aka “Bill Nye the Science Guy” — spent an hour signing bookplates for his new book, “Everything All at Once,” which will be released in July.
Nye was friendly but efficient as he greeted each of the hundreds of fans who stood in a line that looped around the store and down the stairs. A documentary about Nye, called, appropriately, “Bill Nye: Science Guy,” will show at SXSW tonight.
Robby Cole and his dad, Robert, dressed in matching blue shirts and bow ties for the occasion.
Robert Cole said meeting Nye seemed like a great opportunity for his science-loving son.
“(Nye) has had such an impact on the world of science, not just by what he knows, but by what he inspires,” Robert Cole said.
Robby Cole agreed, adding, “He’s just so awesome.”
The audience included both children who are currently watching Bill Nye’s science programming at school and adults who said he influenced their career paths.
“He inspired me to study science,” said Nick Nguyen, who is doing just that now at the University of Texas.
Nye made a point to spend a little extra time with the children who came to see him, pointing out one little girl’s shirt, which read, “Yay science!” to the entire room.
Ruby Ragsdale, 7, said she’s learned a number of things from watching Nye, including that “your left lung is smaller than your right lung so your heart can fit.” She said she enjoys using her microscope and her science kit at home. Her current plan is to be a baker, but she’ll consider science, too.
Her dad, Ian Ragsdale, said he and his wife wanted to bring Ruby to the signing to reinforce the idea that no career is off limits for her.
“We’re really big on making sure Ruby knows she can do anything,” he said.
It’s not every day that an internationally known DJ plays the music at your spin class, but that’s exactly what happened at the new downtown SoulCycle location, 400 Congress Ave., on Saturday morning.
Madame Gandhi, drummer for artist M.I.A., provided the tunes for the hourlong class and even treated riders to her newly release track, “The Future is Female.”
“(Playing the track) felt really beautiful, and everyone was just moving in sync,” she said after the class. “I felt so grateful to give that positive message to such a positive space. SoulCycle has been like my life coach. As a musician, it just gives me such joy.”
In addition to providing the soundtrack, Madame Gandhi also drummed along and even did some reps with 3-pound weights. Instructor Rachel Rivas matched her energy with a positive but challenging workout.
“(At a live DJ class) it’s kind of expect the unexpected. You really have no idea what you’re getting into,” Rivas said. “It’s so fun. It keeps you on your toes.”
The live DJ classes are part of SoulCycle’s celebration of SXSW and will be available every morning at 9:30 a.m. through Tuesday at the downtown location, which opened in February.
SoulCycle is also hosting a pop-up from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day that includes an in-studio photo booth to capture customer’s auras, merchandise with custom embroidery by Fort Lonesome and juice provided by Juiceland. To learn more or sign up for classes, visit soul-cycle.com/studios/datx/1075.
He’s here. Ryan Gosling is in Austin. “Remember the Titans” fans everywhere — it’s really him! Ryan “Baby Goose” Gosling has landed in Austin, Texas for SXSW and we have plenty of handsome, photographic proof.
If you’re in town for South by Southwest and you’re thinking, “Man, I really wish I had a photo of myself standing next to a 23-foot-tall, 30-foot-long, 6,000-pound white buffalo,” then, well, we’ve got good news for you.
Starz has installed a great white buffalo at the corner of Red River and Cesar Chavez streets as part of its promotion for “American Gods,” the new television show based on Neil Gaiman’s popular novel of the same name. According to Starz, the buffalo installment is homage to the recurring image of a buffalo in the series.
Judging by the looks of that crowd, it’s pretty popular. And yes, you can get real food there.
According to our crew at the scene, the line on Friday afternoon was long but manageable, so you’re chances of getting in and enjoying some of Gus Fring’s wares are pretty high. There’s a catch, though: There isn’t any air conditioning in the restaurant, so be ready to sweat.
The year is 1977. Pontiac is preparing to release its latest model of the Firebird Trans Am and Burt Reynolds is about to make history on screen as Bo Darville in “Smokey and the Bandit.” It’s the year that shot Reynolds and the car into outlaw, cool-guy stardom.
Now, 77 is the number of available Trans Am SE Bandit Edition cars, a recently released new line of vehicles inspired by its forefather. Each car is individually signed by the Bandit himself, who announced their release a few days ago along with Trans Am Depot, an automotive conversion company that redesigns and creates retro-styled muscle cars.
“It was hot,” Reynolds said in the Trans Am Depot’s video. “It was hot in every way. It’s a love story and most guys had a love story with their car.”
In the same fashion as the Bandit’s car, the upgraded model comes equipped with the Shaker hood, T-tops, white-letter tires and snowflake wheels. And of course, there’s the iconic firebird that stretches across the front of the car.
“If you only saw that bird you would say that’s the Trans Am,” said Tod Warmack, co-founder of the Trans Am Depot.
But unlike the original, the Bandit Edition’s seats are modeled after the ’78 Trans Am, has an 840 horsepower to the crank compared to the original’s 185, and a specially crafted Bandit logo that marks the inside.
“This is a class act here,” Reynolds said.
The special editions come in light of Reynold’s new documentary “The Bandit,” which takes a look at the cultural import of the ’77 action comedy. It premiered at this year’s South By Southwest at the Long Center where Reynolds and director Jesse Moss made an appearance. The film, which received a standing ovation, will air on CMT in August.