Invite-only FADER FORT is Back at SXSW!

by Traci Mondragon

The long-awaited announcement is finally here… FADER FORT is back!

The rumors are true about a smaller venue, as the new Fort will be located in a much more intimate space, at 1209 E. 6th Street. This should make for some pretty killer shows. Artists already announced include fierce songstresses Lizzo and Bishop Briggs, among others.

The event also welcomes back Budweiser, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, and vitaminwater® as sponsors. They will refresh guests, and join new sponsors Dream Hotels and The North Face. Prepare for an amazing week if you are among the lucky invitees. FADER FORT is happening March 15-18…stay tuned for updates!

This weekend we found ourselves fortunate to be invited to AIM fest aka the Austin instrumental music fest. A one day long musical showcase at the Empire control room with 2 stages and 20 acts. In its third year it has grown from a mere less than 100 in attendance to over 500. The ticket price was $25 and let me tell you, you got your money’s worth.

I didn’t really know what to expect from the music but was blown away by what I heard. From a bit of classical to jazz to heavy metal and some fantastic 8bit music I was not disappointed. My only regret was having to run errands and getting there late. My personal favorite band of the night had to be Bitforce. A power-trio with superhuman abilities that fights the evil of the universe with their tasty nerdcore groove as self-described on their facebook but I agree.

I hope that this fest continues to grow each year, it’s definitely underrated and underappreciated. This is the type of festival that makes Austin such a cool place to keep living in. We at Ballin most certainly cannot wait till next year.

I have a Badge…so now what?

by Traci Marie Mondragon

I’d like to thank everyone who read Vol 1 of my SXSW 2017 Advice Column. So, if you took my advice and signed up to volunteer, then you are going to earn a badge! Or maybe you’re just made of money and you purchased a badge. Either way… if this is your first time with that coveted plastic-encased-paper-holy-grail-on-a-lanyard, or you just need some helpful info on how to ROCK that badge, then this column is for you.

Keep in mind, I have been attending SXSW for over ten years, so I speak from experience. Also keep in mind that I’ve only ever attended because I’ve volunteered for that long as well…so I may not cover everything a paid registrant would know about. But I’ll do my best!

 

Badge Types/Admittance

There are BIG changes to the SXSW badge structure in 2017. Most notably, ANY badge type can get you into ANY part of the conference or festival. Here’s what I mean…

Your admittance priority into events is dependent on what type of badge you will have. Most venues will have two lines: one for Priority Access and one for Secondary Access.

Interactive = Priority admittance to Interactive panels/sessions/workshops and events (Secondary access to Film and Music events)

Film = Priority admittance to Film screenings, panels/sessions/workshops, and events (Secondary access to Interactive and Music events)

Music = Priority admittance to Music showcases, panels/sessions/workshops, and events (Secondary access to Interactive and Film events)

Platinum = Priority admittance into Interactive, Film, AND Music events!

All official events will have capacity limits of course, so your badge will not get you into events that are at capacity, and there are a few, rare private or ticketed events that even your badge alone is not enough to get you into.

 

Create a Schedule with a Plan A, B, C, and D.

SXSW has SO much to offer, and it can definitely be overwhelming. There are several different types of events, from morning till the wee hours of the night! But planning is key. And backup planning is crucial.

If you haven’t already, create an account at schedule.sxsw.com. There, you can search events you’re interested in, and add events to your custom schedule. There’s also an app!

Use the day/type filters to search only the types of events you want, or by conference type.. Play with the filters, or use the search field at the top right to search for specific bands, films, or speakers you’re interested in.

 

Best Kept Secrets

There are a few insider tricks I’ve learned over many years of SXSW’ing, through trial and error, and some by pure happy accident!

Interactive

Interactive parties tend to be overlooked by those who still think SXSW is just all about music. Often, these are great networking events with loads of free booze and food. Some of the best parties I’ve been to are Interactive parties. Those tech people know how to go hard! The Interactive closing party is always at Stubb’s, and has always featured some HUGE acts (Ludacris, Deadmau5), not to mention an open bar. At Stubb’s! Those drinks are usually like $7 or more a pop! There are SO many day and night parties during Interactive. So take advantage of this!

Film

Film panels often highlight specific films, and will feature the filmmakers and entire casts. These are often intimate settings with Q&A portions, so you can get up close to pick the brains of your favorite filmmakers or TV stars.

Music

ACC Day Stages. Inside the Austin Convention Center, in the 4th Floor ballrooms, are the music day stages. Super intimate settings feature artists both well-known and up-and-coming. These shows are a great way to see that band you love, but maybe conflicts with another band you love later in the week! The shows are never full, and you can always get a great spot up front, out of the elements, and the sound is always fantastic.

Some day parties and events offer priority entrance to badgeholders, over non-badgeholders who have just RSVP’d, so always go up and ask at the door if you see a HUGE line. It might be worth asking! The worst they can do is send you to the back of the line.

All-Conference

Not specific to badge type…the Registrant’s Lounge is open all week, and is a chill place to get a free drink, mingle, and get ready for all those evening parties, films, and showcases! Note: Volunteers are NOT allowed into the Registrant’s Lounge. Sorry, guys. We can’t get ALL the perks. The Registrant’s Lounge is located in Brush Square Park, just across 4th street from the Convention Center. Speaking of Brush Square, there are parties going on at both the East side tent and West side tent ALL week! These usually feature free drinks, snacks/food, and bands.

Convergence

In the past few years, SXSW has introduced new concepts to compliment the big three conference areas. These include SXSW Gaming, SXSW Sports, and SXSW Comedy. Many of these Convergence events are open to all Registrants, no matter your type of badge.

 

Finally…

Always remember to have several back-up plans. Even with that badge, there may still be long lines, or they might run out of food or drinks, or the band you thought was playing that party may have cancelled. Always have a backup plan.

Enjoy that badge! You’ve earned (or paid for) it!

The Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion will touch down in Austin, TX from March 16-18 for its 6th annual concert series and lifestyle village hosted by Whole Foods Market, benefiting Whole Planet Foundation. The free, all ages event draws a huge crowd to the Whole Foods Market flagship store’s rooftop venue on North Lamar Boulevard every year for live performances by emerging and legacy bands. This year’s three-day event will feature over 40 artists on two stages. RSVP OPEN HERE

Supporting the Southwest Invasion for a second year in a row, CLIF Bar returns to the Whole Foods rooftop to supply guests with their new CLIF® Nut Butter Filled Bars. Additionally, they’ll be bringing their Record Lab where fans can get free 7” singles made from plastic plates. Audio Engineers from Mobile Vinyl Recorders will cut records in real time for a one of a kind keepsake.

 

ZICO returns to the event as well, hosting a free yoga session on the rooftop the morning of Friday, March 17. An instructor from Black Swan Yoga will teach the class, which is open to 40 people. Registration begins at 8:30am and the session will run from 9:00 – 10:00. Additionally, ZICO will be handing out their USDA-certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified™ Coconut Water. With every ZICO Organic you’re helping build a better tomorrow for local Philippine farming communities by supporting organic farming, investment in farm productivity, community development projects, and farmer empowerment.

 

New to the Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion family in 2017 is Schwinn. Founded in 1895, Schwinn is an American icon, building some of the best-known and best-loved bicycles of all time. In addition to offering slushies and puppies on the rooftop, they’ll have some of latest and greatest bikes for fans to see, get on, and even ride, including their brand new line of easy-riding Sivicas.

How to Own SXSW Like a BOSS

by Traci Marie Mondragon

One of the greatest things about living in Austin is SXSW: that magical week in March when technology, film, and music combine to create a tangible energy in our beloved city.  If you’re reading this post, then you definitely know what SXSW is, and you’ve probably experienced it.  And if you’re a Baller ATX friend and follower… you probably can’t afford a badge.  But there are SO many ways to do SXSW right…especially if you’re broke!  I’m about to give you the secrets to having the BEST possible SXSW experience of your life.

 

Give a little to Get a LOT

VOLUNTEER for SXSW. I know what you’re thinking. “I don’t have enough time to volunteer! So many hours! It’s too much work!” Okay, quit being ridiculous and get it together!!! You’re an adult. You’re smart. You’re capable.

Make your schedule work and sign up to volunteer. You work some (mostly easy) shifts, you get a badge. A badge most people pay WELL over $1200 for. It’s almost unbelievable! There are still plenty of crews who need volunteers, so head on over to volunteer.sxsw.com to learn more!

You’ll get into SO many parties, lounges, panels, films, shows, etc. that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t have that badge.

 

Can’t Volunteer?

RSVP till your fingers hurt. There are so many sites, Facebook groups, etc. that list free parties if you DON’T have a badge. So if you don’t take my first piece of advice, then do this. In fact, Baller ATX has a handy list to aid in your RSVPing.

 

Stay Safe

Gather your friends together and carpool, or better yet, split Rideshares. If the above tips are successful, you WILL be drinking A LOT. So be safe above ALL else.

 

Pace yourself!

SXSW means day drinking. My best advice? Stop drinking at about 8pm. Especially if you have a badge and will be going to night showcases. You won’t make it to that headliner you’re dying to see on the Friday night of Music if you are drinking from noon-4am every night that week. And even if you do you’ll feel miserable and probably won’t remember much.

 

Finally… Have FUN

If you’re anything like me, SXSW is your Christmas, birthday, and Mardi Gras all rolled into one amazing week. Make it count, make it last, and make it memorable. But most importantly make it safe so you can make it out again next year! And the year after that and the year after that…

 

Stay tuned for Volume 2 of Traci’s SXSW Tips Next Week!

Euphoria Fest

Posted by ballerat | Festivals

by Melissa Hoffman

eu·pho·ri·a
noun
a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness.
“the euphoria of success will fuel your desire to continue training”
synonyms: elation, happiness, joy, delight, glee

I’m sure there are countless things that come to mind when reading the definition above; playing with puppies, devouring an entire bowl of Funfetti cake batter, and the first sip of that free margarita to name a few. For over 50,000 music lovers it means Euphoria Music Festival.

Euphoria is a four day camping music festival taking place April 6th-9th on the beautiful 55 acre grounds of Carson Creek Ranch in Austin.  While the primary genre is electronic music this festival offers a little something for everyone by bringing in hip hop, indie, and jam band artists for your listening pleasure. The 2017 lineup is stacked as always and includes Alesso, Chromeo, Pretty Lights Live, Wiz Khalifa, Young Thug, Zeds Dead, The Disco Biscuits, The Floozies, Knife Party, and many many more.

If you aren’t sold on the music alone, Euphoria is really focusing on enhancing the all-around experience for its attendees this year. They will be partnering with Art Outside to introduce the Art Outside Village which will organize various activities such as art installations, unique workshops, and yoga. What makes these additions even more awesome is that they are opening them up to anyone who has something nifty to contribute. If you have an artistic contribution that you would like to share with your fellow festival-goers you can apply here. Life tip- don’t hesitate, just DO IT!

For those of you that lack in the creative department but want to get involved don’t fret! The Fest is bringing back its work exchange volunteer program and is currently looking for passionate folks just like you. In exchange for only 15 hours of your time (broken up into three five-hour shifts) you will receive a GA 3-day pass and a camping pass. That is of course in addition to meeting wonderful people and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Talk about ballin’ on a budget! If this sounds right up your alley you can head to this link to get your app in.

If you are sold on the festival but aren’t too keen on fully immersing yourself in the camping lifestyle, I suggest that you strongly reconsider. To each their own but in my festival experience there is nothing like waking up on the festival grounds with your adopted community and embracing that “this is life now” mentality. Euphoria offers numerous camping options so you are sure to find the perfect fit. There have also been some serious improvements made this year based on feedback from past campers. For example; additional space per campsite, option for early check-in on Wednesday, and a shuttle service to get your gear to your site. That last one is a game changer people. If you haven’t attended in the past, let’s just say it took impeccable stacking skills and balance to cart all of your shi*t up and down hills before you finally reached the camp grounds. The people struggled- Euphoria listened.

Now that was a lot to take in but I hope that it got you as excited as I am for the sixth annual Euphoria Festival! Tickets are still on sale so I suggest you rally some troops, create some bitchin play lists to get pumped up, and get ready to get down and dirty on the banks of the Colorado River.

Full line-up Here

Tickets available Here

by Melissa Hoffman

I’m all about enjoying this beautiful Austin weather by patio hopping around town from Moontower Saloon to Bangers or anywhere with a solid mimosa deal. However, if you’re looking to get in touch with your outdoorsy side and save some cash, the Colorado River is just a short drive away. In my opinion, not much beats kayaking/canoeing the river and camping on island sand bars.

Step 1) Recruit as many of your friends (and furry friends!) as possible

Step 2) Head about 30 minutes East to Webberville 

Step 3) Board your water vessel of choice

Step 4) Start paddling

If you already happen to own a canoe or kayak then your only investment for the weekend will be a cooler full of beer and some food to soak it all up (if you’re like some of my friends that means a case of Lone Star each and three 18 packs of Smucker’s Uncrustables). No worries if you don’t, there are a few different outfitters that you can rent one from for pretty cheap. We went with Cook’s Canoes (http://www.cookscanoes.com/index.html) and it was $50 per night for a canoe and $35 per night for a kayak. Technically though, if you choose to canoe with a friend you get to split that cost plus the paddling efforts. A win-win! One last perk of going through the outfitter is that it includes a shuttle from the end point of your trip back to your cars at the beginning. So for those of you who do the trip with your own gear; do not, I repeat DO NOT, forget to leave at least one car where you plan to exit the river so you can get back to the other cars. Unless you’re down for a longggggg walk back.

For our last river trip my husband and I decided to head out right after work so that we could get paddling and have camp set up by sun down. Did I mention that camping on these sand bars is also free?! We chose to start at Little Webberville Park since it was only about an hour paddle to the first potential sand bar. This one is pretty small but perfect for a small group like the two of us and our dogs. If that’s not quite what you’re looking for, you can keep going down the river and choose from a number of other first come first serve islands. We set up camp, gathered some wood for the fire, and cracked a few cold beers. Not necessarily in that order… While we were taking care of all of the manual labor like the responsible adults that we are, our two dogs were off exploring the island doing “dog stuff”. Between that and repeatedly jumping off of our kayaks to swim during the day it made for some happy, and exhausted, pups.

Saturday morning we packed everything up and moved our lawn chairs into the water while we waited for all of our friends to come down stream. From there we made our way slowly but surely with only a few tipping casualties stemming from a rowdy game of bumper tag. As peaceful and beautiful as the Colorado River is, what is a river trip without some shenanigans? Here are a few other examples to keep your float interesting: Most Absurd Hat Competition, bb gun target practice, pick-up game of whiffle ball with locals on shore, or some casual fishing. I think you get the idea.

A few more hours and a box of wine later we came across a very large island that was more than big enough for a group of any size. Both of the islands that we camped on had plenty of wood to collect for a fire but it never hurts to bring some extra if you have the space. Once the fire was roaring we cooked up all of our food only to have it left out and eaten by some animals overnight- also known as my dogs. In typical camping spirit our night was full of s’more roasting and various drinking games around the fire. In typical “I’ve been drinking copious amounts of alcohol for 15 hour” spirit our night ended with howling at the moon and a little bit of skinny dipping. Or so I’ve been told since day drinking got the best of me before any of that debauchery began.

Next thing I knew the sun was coming up and Sunday had arrived to be the buzzkill that it always is. I’m sure you get the drill but we slapped the bag a little bit to polish off the wine, packed our kayaks, and started on our way. There were only a few hours left to go between our campsite and the final dock and it was one of the most gorgeous parts of the river we had travelled down. When we got to the dock our shuttle was there waiting and we made our way back to reality.

Moral of the story, if you have a free weekend and you enjoy being one with nature you should get your @$$ out to the beautiful Colorado River.

Melissa is a staff writer for balleratx.com

Day For Night.

Posted by terry flemings | Day For Night, Festivals

Started in 2015, Day For Night is a visually immersive art and music festival that explores light, space, and sound.  Day For Night will take place at the historic Barbara Jordan Post Office (401 Franklin Street), designed by the same architects as the Houston Astrodome, will be the setting for this year’s hyper-sensorial festival. 

The 2016 Day For Night music line-up includes Aphex Twin, Ariel Pink, Banks, Blood Orange, Butthole Surfers, Little Dragon, Jesus and Mary Chain, Squarepusher, Thundercat, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Mykki Blanco, and SOPHIE.

But what we are most excited to see is the visual artist that are being brought in who are going to transform this space into a magical wonderland of sight and sound. Day For Night is excited to announce fifteen site-specific commissions and new media installations for the second edition of the festival. The 2016 Day For Night visual artists are AV&C + Houze, Children of the Light, Alex Czetwertynski, Björk, Damien Echols, Ezra Miller, Golan Levin, Michael Fullman, NONOTAK, Robert Seidel, Shoplifter, TUNDRA, United Visual Artists (UVA), and Various Projects.

artist-imagery

Curated by Day For Night co-founder Alex Czetwertynski, the Day For Night exhibition program is a unique platform for artists to push the boundaries of their practice and create new sensory experiences for festival goers. Similar to the music line-up, which includes headliners Aphex Twins and the more underground Ariel Pink and Mykki Blanco, Day For Night presents an international group of emerging and established artists.

“Our intention is to bring together talents that fearlessly cross over multiple fields and blur the lines between media. From our more established artists, such as UVA and Bjork digital, who are both presenting works never seen before in the US, to our youngest artist, the twenty-year-old Ezra Miller, we want our audience to experience art at a scale that is almost impossible to see elsewhere, and in a grouping that would be hard to pull off in more traditional environments,” says Czetwertynski.

We cannot wait for what we feel will be the redeeming quality of the year 2016. After everything this year has thrown at us, a winter festival with this amazing lineup is just what we need. Stay tuned as we will be covering this experience from Friday night till Sunday. We’ll have tons of photos and some special one on one interviews with few of our favorite artists.

Full line-up here.

Tickets available here.

(images courtesy of Day for Night)

As a long time ska punk fan and a fan of Colorado, I made my way to the mile-high city to rage and riot! At Riot Fest that is!

Riot Fest, originating in Chicago, is a punk rock based festival that has since expanded to a second location in the mile-high city.

Now, just because it is considered a Punk Rock Festival doesn’t mean that it is limited to just the genre; it tends to include a smattering of Ska, Indie Rock (Modest Mouse in 2015 and Death Cab for Cutie in 2016 respectively… WTF?!), Metal, etc. There is definitely something for everyone and anyone… that happens to also like Punk music. The major selling point for 2016? The MISFITS reunion!

Friday kicked off the weekend right! The weather was beautifully sunny, but not too warm (by Texas standards at least). It remained this way all weekend long. Let me say that after years of Warped Tours on asphalt and black top in the Texas heat during my youth; this was amazing. The only time you felt like finding some shade was when you had just had enough sun and never because of getting overheated.

After running into Doug Benson (we love you Doug!) outside the Festival we made our way into the grounds. We scouted the Merch Booth followed by the concession stands, which lead to the first and only real disappointment of the weekend… in a place with craft beer that regularly wins awards like Denver we were limited to Dos Equis and other equally dissatisfying libations. (Get your shit together Riot Fest!) The food choices were solid though.

Friday was filled with a number of bands I had been looking forward to seeing again (or for the first time). The Descendants showed that they still had some rage left! The Aquabats, which is always a fun and family friendly show, instructed the next generation of little rioters on how to properly circle pit by pulling them up on stage! Start them young! (I can think of plenty of older fans that have a hard time grasping the idea. It’s like they are the kid that always tried to fit the square through the circular hole. Idiots.) Fitz and the Tantrums properly lived up to their pun inspired name. NOFX was rad as fuck. Deftones rocked! Janes Addiction (performing Ritual De Lo Habitual) killed it as the closer!

Saturday may have had the least exciting line-up of the weekend for me personally. The Hold Steady (performing Boys & Girls in America) was a damn fine show! Sleater Kinney reminded us (like we needed one) that ladies can perform as good if not better than any group of guys. Ween closed the day out as only they could have.

Sunday was the day I think most everyone was psyched for. This day was really centered around the dueling stages of the Roots Stage and Riot Stage. Notably really starting off with Chevy Metal, a cover band with one sweet name and a sound to back it up. Unfortunately for them they had to compete with Me First and the Gimme Gimmes at the game of covers songs. Let me tell you, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes won hands down! Next up was a superb performance by Pepper! Think that sounds amazing? Bad Religion rocked the shit out of the audience next! Where do you go from there you may ask? The gypsy punk inspired music of Gogol Bordello! When everyone was exhausted from dancing their asses off The Original Misfits made us all remember why we were there in the first place in all of their horror punk rock glory! My Satan it was beautiful!

Thank you Riot Fest for satiating the punk rock void in my life. Until next year!!!

 

 

by Julie Darner

You know you have the best boss when they give you free wristbands for a music festival. It wasn’t even just SOME of my coworkers that got them; it was ALL of us. (That’s seven of us in all) I only got a Saturday pass, but two of my coworkers got 3-day media passes. SUPER JEALOUS, but I’ll chill.

So I ended up seeing a little of DJ Mustard, LL Cool J and his DJ ZTrip, SchoolboyQ, and then Kendrick Lamar. Def should have tried to see more, but crowds and lines and waiting were all factors that got in the way.

DJ Mustard mostly just mixed popular radio songs together for the crowd and yelled at us sometimes. Not upset that I chose him over other artists, but we left early due to a lack of interest. Haha. Also, we were not getting enough of a second-hand high to want to stay in that crowd. Oh, DISCLAIMER! I am too short for music festivals, so there may be a lot of complaining in the future of this post. Particularly, DJ Mustard had started about half an hour before my coworker and I got into the crowd, so there was a strong buildup and little space to squeeze in. That’s really the worst thing about ACL. They invite all these people to go, throw some stages onto Zilker and let the people fend for themselves. Short people never get to see what’s going on on stage. It’s a fact of the festival. It’s part of the whole experience!!!!! Bonding with other shorties is actually something that happened for me with other girls at Kendrick. At least you’re comforted in knowing you aren’t the only one.

image-1

LL Cool J was pretty great. I’m not gonna lie, I had to laugh at some parts of his performance. I had no idea he’s been around since 1985!!!! I felt like a baby. He still wears beanies while he performs, which is insane to do in Texas even though it was only like 85 yesterday (GREAT WEATHER). His shirt reminded me of those Affliction shirts all the boys wore in 2008. And he kept telling us what to do!! “Everybody say YEAAAH! Say HELLLL YEAH!!! Now SCREAM!” Excuse me. It’s fun the first 30 times, but it just gets a little repetitive after that. But I did have fun watching him! His dj was so good! Amazing! Cam and I were at an understanding that he may even be better than DJ Mustard. He was mixing right in front of us! And he was this older looking, clean cut white guy! I very much appreciated his work. I knew zero songs, but it’s the performance you go for, yes?!

So my two coworkers and I stayed at the Samsung stage to get a good spot for SchoolboyQ. We were right next to the catwalk that was blocked off from the crowd. Some people are really crazy, because they actually jumped that barrier. Mind you, it’s at least four feet tall, so you have to lift all your body weight on the narrow railing, launch yourself another four feet to the other side, and then land on a bunch of people? Not worth it to me. One guy completely ate it on the ground of the catwalk, but got right up and climbed his busted face over the other side! Pretty impressive. Another guy didn’t have such luck. Security was getting fed up later on, so when another guy took the plunge, three of the workers went after him and tried to pull him back over. I don’t know how they weren’t successful, but they didn’t escort him out. The vandal got over the barrier somehow. I guess he had good friends that didn’t let him go.

Another funny thing that happened when we were waiting for SchoolboyQ was that my coworkers and I met some actual school boys! They were across the barrier from us. They looked insanely young, and they were. Three out of the four had braces, they had baby faces that you know were virginal and were dressed like frat boys. That’s all the high-schoolers now, right? Well we got to talking to them, and being almost a decade older than them inspired us to ask them about pop culture like Hey Arnold, Doug, Lambchop, Even Stevens, CatDog. The best of the late 90s and early 2000s! I’ll have to say, the one that hurt the most was them not knowing who Lizzie McGuire was. No Gordo?! No Paulo?! Such a sad life! They were all boys, but all the boys I knew watched it, too! It’s amazing how age gaps separate culture so easily. I’m not saying everything I grew up with was monumental for all ages and should have been absorbed at some point of time, but it shows you how history and human customs change and can be forgotten. DEEP.

dirtyjewelz.

 

14701054_10210969095327112_7525803783837920869_o