Bitter Austinite blindsided by Sandra Bullock, great SXSW performances

When I was barricaded to the locality of Austin during spring break, I had no idea what I was going to do with my nine-day vacation. While a lot of my classmates were tanning on the southern Florida beaches or skiing down the northern mountains of Wyoming, I was lying in my bed pondering my entertainment options. One thing I was certain about was that I would NOT be attending any South by Southwest events. This conclusion is drawn from the fact that I hate lines and the downtown traffic that comes along with SXSW events and the pedestrians jaywalking to the next music or movie showcase.

About halfway through my glamorous stay-cation, I was really succeeding at avoiding the horrible festival enthusiasts. I had found many sources of entertainment with my friends that did not include going into the war zone.

Thursday March 13 was the day I had an undesirable gravitational pull to downtown Austin. After a beautiful afternoon spent at Zilker Park with my dog, I drove towards South Congress Avenue and West Ben White Boulevard with full intentions of getting home before sunset. This decision was not only one of my proudest, but rather a choice that would end in almost tears.

It is probably pretty factual to say that South Congress is one of the busiest streets during SXSW. Touristy pedestrians everywhere are walking around in hipster attire that they probably only pull out of their closet when they want to impress that crowd. They make their way to the line to eat at Home Slice Pizza. Maybe I should just be thankful that the pretentious cowboy hats are nearly non-existent during this week. It was actually hard to find things to be thankful for when I was in standstill traffic brought upon my beloved city because of some indie festival.

One pedestrian, who donned a giant sun hat and large Hollywood sunglasses, jaywalked right in front of my car with very little warning. That was the last straw. I wanted to start a full-out riot against SXSW and all the horrible chaos and take down the jaywalkers — in a verbal sense. But, when I took a closer look at this person, I recognized the long brown hair and high cheek bones. This was no wannabe hipster in the slightest. This woman was Sandra Bullock, and I was blindsided by the fact that a celebrity crossed my line of fire. So yes, my anger washed away in Sandy’s presence.

For a turn of events, I ended up attending two SXSW music events after my encounter with Sandra. I was very skeptical and nervous about the whole idea. I hoped being with my friends and seeing one of my favorite bands would help the situation.

On Friday, I went to Foster the People’s performance at Butler Park’s Outdoor Stage. Butler Park was free and open to all ages. The large setting was very friendly for people who just want to sit in the grass and enjoy the city lights and sounds. The second band I saw was The 1975. Seeing one of my favorite bands up close and personal at Waterloo Records on the last Saturday of spring break was a great end to a great weekend. Despite my previous hatred toward the festival, SXSW truly gained my respect after I jumped into the experience. I’d like to not only thank Sandra, but also the other wonderful, talented people who spent time in Austin for SXSW.  I no longer find myself bitter and in fear that SXSW will “Dallas my Austin.”