The iconic SXSW is being held in Austin, Texas, this week, and Australia and New Zealand is well-represented. Pickle Darling, Hans Pucket, ASHY, Georgia Lines, and more have headed to the famous festival to showcase the music this side of the world has to offer.
Brisbane singer-songwriter Hope D is also there, just after the release of excellent debut album, Clash of the Substance. The record unfolded as a queer coming-of-age drama, and confirmed Hope’s standing as one of the most promising Australian songwriters of the past few years.
Rolling Stone AU/NZ asked Hope D to take us through her SXSW 2023 experience, and you can read all about her first few days at the festival below.
After she returns to her home country, fans can catch Hope D on her national headline album tour from Friday, March 24th in Melbourne, which will conclude with a special hometown show in Brisbane on Thursday, April 6th (tickets available now here).
More information about SXSW 2023 is available here.
Listen to Clash of the Substance by Hope D:
SXSW 2023 Diary: Hope D
Day 1 At SXSW
Starting off the trip strong with the most important thing when travelling anywhere – the photo at the departures gate before jumping on our flight to TEXAS! Essential photo of course.
Documenting the 13-hour flight to Texas which is actually quite brutal (I realised less than an hour in), but to fill the time I watched so many movies and cried to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (which is a common occurrence for me).
The first shop in San Fransisco Airport we saw! I love sandwiches so I naturally got incredibly excited.
We stopped in to the American Airlines lounge ahead of our second flight to fill up. Absolutely no filter on this image but the food is genuinely that bright…
After the longest haul ever we got to our Airbnb and home for the next week, and went out for some food and stopped in at the Australia house party while we were out! We saw King Stingray play an acoustic set which was incredible, and drank our way through all the American cocktails (which genuinely have 4 Australian standards in them – at least).
I made Ainslie (my guitarist) come to IHOP with me to soak up the true American experience. I would move here for IHOP.
After eating most of the menu, we went to a convenience store and got drinks and snacks and went home to play a game I brought that took up a lot of my suitcase room so I made EVERYONE play it.
Then we sang karaoke and watched YouTube videos until 4 am. Great first day 🙂
Day 2 At SXSW
TBH Day two did not exist for us because we woke up at 2pm here after the first night. We ordered Popeyes chicken and watched 21 Jump Street and nursed our heads from the American cocktail hangovers.
We finally woke up again at 8pm and went to a brewery that did tacos and had ‘bag tacos’ which was the fillings of tacos in a bag of fritos chips. I was sad because I thought it meant a whole taco in a bag – so I naturally ordered more regular tacos. Then we went to a bar not thinking it would get hectic, then proceeded to do pickleback shots and drink frozen margarita which would be what I imagine is six standard Australian shots in each one.
It ended with drunk shopping at a convenience store and a concoction of foods in my tummy that was not needed but I do not regret. Night finishes with me on the floor and finding a dollar under the oven of our Airbnb. Good luck I say.
Day 3 At SXSW
Day three begins with a few Starbucks oat milk brown sugar iced lattes that we ordered on Uber Eats, and Jess and Ainslie looking absolutely angelic in the sunlight at home.
We went to Whole Foods for some green things and fruit for our poor bodies. I got soup, salad, and olives!!
Here’s also a pic of the medicine tea aisle which has throat coat – the best tea in the world for your voice and throat and can only get it online in Brisbane! I ordered a bunch for tour to be there when I get home but now it’s in front of my face here.
We went to a diner called Snooze that looked incredible but we just got pot coffee – we WILL be returning for the food though. Then we went op shopping and got In-N-Out Burgers a while after. Possibly my fave burger in the world. Went home for a very short amount of time before going to the gig!
Our first showcase at Augustine at 12am! Was extremely hard to stay awake, I was quite wrecked. Lots of hiccups for the set which included us calling Benn (our sound engineer from Brisbane ) and they told us how to setup our stuff properly (lol).
We only had to cut a couple songs but the set was SO FUN! Then had some drinks with Jesswar and their partner Hannah – best humans in the world.
Night ended with ordering Jack in the Box which I’ve included a shocking photo of that doesn’t do it justice, but the food was really quite amazing.
The end of day 3 🙂
Day 4 At SXSW
Woke up at 3pm this day, we were so knackered from the gig last night and our first gig of SXSW! Went to the convention centre and got these shots around the festival which we will photoshop Ainslie into later – the poor thing is sick and couldn’t come out today.
Then we went to Guadalupa Street for some vintage shopping and lunch – I got this incredible sandwich and Jenna got the best bahn mi I’ve ever seen IN MY LIFE from Sip Pho (I am going again today whether everyone likes it or not). Jess got In-N-Out – loveee it!
We were planning to go to CVS and then straight home as it was 9pm at this point, but we passed a saloon and decided to play ONE game of pool and have ONE drink.
Three hours, three games, and many mini pitchers of beer later we FINALLY left for CVS. We stopped at 7-Eleven which I bought everything at, and then finally at CVS – I bought everything except for what I actually went in to buy. Jess dropped her mini oreos on the floor too, which I’ve captured in one of these pics. It’s a sad image.
We went to a wing place so Jenna could pee and we gracefully got given all the Uber Eats orders that weren’t collected for the night – free food is my favourite food!
We went home and heated it up and watched Jackass. To be honest, I regret the Jackass but this was probably one of my favourite days here (but it also wasn’t because we missed Ainslie!)
PS. the people at the saloon were the nicest people I’ve ever met. Texas rocks!