This post is part of #the100dayproject that encourages creatives to do an action every day for 100 days. I've chosen to write an article or blog post every day. Previous posts for this project can be found here.
A few weekends ago, I covered Marfa Myths which is put on by Ballroom Marfa and Mexican Summer. Another festival in the bag.
For those that follow my Instagram, covering festivals is what I love to do. I run around like a crazy person capturing all the action, but it's been ingrained in me to do that since my days at Austin Community College's The Accent Newspaper.
Since I lived in Austin, I've been covering SXSW for years. Starting in 2004, I mostly attended the free unofficial shows because that's what most of the unsigned and local bands (which is who I covered) would play. I'd arrive downtown at noon and would fill every hour of the day with bands until 2am. Oh to be young with that kind of stamina again.
In 2009, I was asked to cover SXSW for the Accent Newspaper. It had been a year since I returned to college after I dropped out six years prior. I joined the newspaper because I saw that a friend was the editor-in-chief and when I emailed him to congratulate him, he gave me a job. I wrote music pieces, naturally.
A year later, the newspaper got a new faculty advisor. One that got shit done. He managed to get the newspaper four SXSW press credentials, and I was one of chosen reporters to receive one. I was stunned when I got the phone call. I felt official for the first time.
But there was a catch as there is with covering any festival as press. We had to produce content in exchange for the free access. No big deal. Most publications would do a recap after the festival or post a photo gallery. Not this newspaper. This was the beginning of social media and my faculty adviser, Matt Connolly, wanted us to embrace all these platforms, so we were required to do coverage before, during and after the festival. We had to write articles for the bi-weekly newspaper, update a blog with what we saw every day, upload our photos to Flickr and tweet as much as possible.
For those that have attended SXSW, this can get overwhelming pretty quickly, but I did it and that set the stage for how I cover any festival I attend.