The iconic SXSW is being held in Austin, Texas, this week, and Australia and New Zealand is well-represented. Pickle Darling, Hans Pucket, ASHY, Hope D, and more have headed to the famous festival to showcase the music this side of the world has to offer.
Kiwi singer-songwriter Georgia Lines is also there, ready to bring her R&B-inflected pop to industry professionals and music fans. After her 2022 EP, Human, a vulnerable exploration of love and loss, debuted atop the New Zealand Albums Chart last year, she’s now writing and recording her long-awaited full-length debut, which should take this proudly independent artist’s career to the next level.
Rolling Stone AU/NZ asked Georgia to take us through her SXSW 2023 experience, and you can read all about her exciting first day at the festival below.
More information about SXSW 2023 is available here.
Day One At SXSW
As day one comes to an end, I write my entry waiting in line at Terry Black’s Barbeque joint, recommended by our Uber driver earlier this afternoon and every second person we’ve bumped into. I’ve decided that today needs to be my only barbecue meal for the week to avoid the meat coma… which I do not need.
I woke up this morning with a rude awakening at 8am, after flying in last night from New Zealand not having adjusted to the six-hour time difference.
We flew into Houston with our friends from Foley last night and drove three hours to Austin in a massive white van. When we picked this up from the airport, we packed both instruments and suitcases from 10 people into the wrong van, only realising we had climbed into the wrong one when we couldn’t find the key to turn the air con on.
We took our giant van (so giant that we took out a wing mirror of another van in the narrow streets of Austin… it was fine, the wing mirror only had a momentary minor setback) to band rehearsals this morning, which started with coffee from a box and free doughnuts from the rehearsal space. I have only seen wine from a box before, never hot coffee, which fascinated me from a practical sense. Must have had a lot of product testing to make sure the cardboard didn’t go soggy with hot liquid?
Rehearsals were interrupted by a very quick snack/breakfast taco, which somehow ended up being our one meal we had before dinner. Note: Hangry Georgia is a real thing and normally I carry a can of tuna with me and a bag of almonds for this very scenario – both of which I did not have. We ran through the set a few times, feeling pretty good about heading into all the shows before heading off to pick up our registration for the week.
I was super excited to get a free tote bag and a lanyard, but both of those I didn’t have the credentials for, so ended up with a ‘lovely’ yellow wristband instead. Trying to have a good attitude about receiving a free booklet instead of the tote I was hoping to get and also trying to work out how I can work in the ‘lovely’ wristband into my outfits for the week.
On the way to my first interview for the week with Grrrl Music, I had the best Uber ride of my life with a driver named Devvin, with a 4.9 ️rating. After discovering I was playing at SXSW and finding me on Spotify, he went on to sing for me a song he sang at a funeral last week. No joke, it wasn’t until the end of the song we realised he had been crying the entire time while singing to us. What could have been an interesting moment turned out to be a really beautiful and wholesome one.
From here I lime scootered my way to the New Zealand meet up at Woodrows. It was so nice to see all the Kiwis in town for a drink and a chat and to talk about how pumped we were for the week ahead. Hangry Georgia needed food (talking in third person here) and one of the suggestions we had today was Terry Black’s.
So, now I’m at Terry Black’s sitting down eating the most delicious BBQ I have had, possibly in my life. Was a little bit of a stressful ordering situ, as I panicked choosing my sides and ordered a chunk of cheese which was wrapped in what felt like 10m of glad-wrap. I had no idea how many ounces of brisket I would like to order, nor did I know if I should choose cream beans or green beans, or what combination of sides work the best.
I ended up with… one piece of brisket, one sausage, one side of coleslaw, a side of green beans, an assortment of pickles, some mustard, an individual cracker, and a weird hunk of orange coloured cheese. Which only as I am wiring this now did I realise I could have eaten the cheese and cracker together.
To be honest, I can guarantee that there was a way better combination of food I could have ordered, but I am going to bed extremely full and very happy with my strange choices.
Day 1 at SXSW has affirmed my need to potentially only wear comfy and practical shoes this week, which I am very grateful that the fashion gods have decided that for this point in time my Asics could potentially be considered a fashion moment.
So excited for day two. Playing my first show for the week at the SXSW official opening party tommorow night. As I sign off for the day, I still can’t wrap my head around the reality of being in Austin for SXSW. Absolutely WILD! So many amazing artists and humans already that we have bumped into and feeling very very grateful to be here.
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