What was that line about the best laid plans of mice and men? Apparently, that rule of thumb goes out the window when it comes to planning a party in Austin, Texas.
Whirlwind. Insanity. Rock ‘n’ roll. Craziness. Awesomeness. Those are a few ways to describe exactly what happened on Tuesday, March 15th for our inaugural South By Southwest event with CloudCamp.
Actually, here’s a few other ways: an amazing video, pictures and some scans that truly tell the tale of True Austin Story: The 2011 Cloudies.
It Was All A Dream
You can read about the inspiration for how the event came together and what it was actually was, but overall, our presence at SXSW just made sense from all angles. Thanks to great help from CloudCamp, our marketing partners at Griffin York & Krause, great sponsors and an onslaught of musical talent, the Dyn 138 Listening Lounge was set to be open for business at 906 Daniel Drive.
Cue first record scratch.
The sheer amount of people — and some inquiries from the owners of the house we were renting — resulted in us scrambling for our first venue change. Luckily, we had five days notice (this statement will make more sense later) and found a new venue at 721 Congress Street in an open retail space that had been previously used for parties. Fliers were printed up, we uncapped the RSVP amount, tweeted the hell out of the change and with days to go, life was pretty damn good.
Sounds great, right?
Cue second record scratch.
We were in Austin, living it up and preparing for the event among friends, colleagues, clients and prospects. If you’ve never been, SXSW is an amazing event, giving off an incredible vibe with parties and events happening all over the place. If you love music, interactive or hanging out in general, get there.
So event day came and we headed out to Congress to meet with the AV/staging crew, decorate and nail down the final details. All was going according to plan when our next door neighbors showed (The Paramount Theatre staff) with Police and Fire Marshall in tow, we knew we were in some trouble. What we hoped might just be some simple legal formalities turned into a potential nightmare, catastrophe and disaster. Needless to say, the Marshall had some issues with our new venue.
Yaargh. Was this a sign? Was this party not meant to be? We had bands on the ready, food, drink and tons of party-goers prepared to meet the folks from Dyn and CloudCamp. What now?
Where The Story Takes A Positive Turn
Well, our company wasn’t built on giving up and the last thing we were going to do was call it a day. There was too much at stake and too much to lose by not making this happen after all we had done to bring it together. It was go time and somehow by the grace of whatever being decided to bless us, we found an amazing place that wanted to have us (Serrano’s and the Austin Symphony Orchestra)…and it had a moat (below the stage)!
So after all the adversity, all the drama and three venue changes, the event was a massive success and the whole week was tremendous. We had 1500 people stop in at various points through the five-hour bash to see the likes of Hoots & Hellmouth, Jay Nash, Miracle Parade, Quiet Life, Elk And Boar, Kelley McRae and Albert Aguilar.
Want a taste? Check out this incredible video (seriously, it’s awesome) that details the day, the event and lets you know a little more about what we’re about. As you can see, I wasn’t stressed for one minute.
Thank you to everyone that worked, attended, talked about, sponsored and played the event. You better believe we’ll be back next year, but we’ll try to limit the venue changes to one and maybe use an actual sheet of paper for our schedule.