With less than a month until Riot Fest and Rodeo descends on Denver once again, the after shows' ‘who, where, and when’ details emerge. Tickets go on sale this Friday for a chance to see bands from the big festival stage perform on slightly smaller stages at the Marquis and Summit in downtown Denver, and slightly south at Hi-Dive.
This year’s trip, however, injected me with a whole new philosophy about how to attack a four-day rock binge whose sheen of exclusivity rivals the unshiny layer of grime it offers during the harsh daylight.
On prior visits to South-by, I came to Austin fully loaded with business cards, paid work expenses, the knowledge that additional expenses would be tax write-offs, and, more importantly, I came badged up.
SXSW badges have been the golden ticket since the conference’s inception. If you’re an existent or aspiring music industry professional—hell, even if you’re a glorified intern at an unknown label out of a Midwestern town that’s not due to pervade the national underground hip-radar for another three-and-a-half years—you know that in order to see and be seen (and subsequently ignored) at SXSW, you or your company will be dropping at least $500 to get you that wee plastic pocket dangling coyly from a polyester lanyard.