Any music festival is going to breed some unexpected moments. When you get that many hyped-up guests in one place, something is bound to happen. South by Southwest is no exception.
The craziness that arises at SXSW seems to be of a positive variety. Surprise appearances and incredible parties thrown by up-and-coming brands all contribute to SXSW’s unique blend of insanity.
Here are three of the craziest things that have ever happened at SXSW:
Taking candy (well, ice cream) from strangers
If ever there was a location where your parents wouldn’t have approved of you taking food from strangers, it would be a music festival. Still, some brands have made this practice a big part of their effort to gain recognition at the fest.
According to Business Insider, a startup called TaskRabbit drove around the SXSW grounds in a truck covered in faux fur meant to resemble a rabbit. Reps from TaskRabbit, an app that helps people find neighbors willing to complete their daily tasks and do chores for them, passed out ice cream from the truck to festival goers. Strange as this idea may seem, it’s hard to find anyone who will turn down free ice cream on a hot spring day in Austin.
Uber minus one wheel
Festival goers who don’t own a vehicle themselves are most likely familiar with the boom in ridesharing applications. Uber, one of the most popular businesses in that field, hadn’t yet launched in Austin when the festival took place in 2014.
This didn’t stop the company from making its mark on Austin transportation, though. During the festival that year, Uber branded a fleet of pedicabs and rickshaws and paid bikers to pick up customers around the city.
That’s right, a car-sharing app didn’t even need to use cars to gain recognition during the festival. Talk about learning to work with what you have.
Soundgarden, front to back
Fans of the 1990s grunge sound that was once synonymous with the Seattle music scene were in for a treat at SXSW 2014. As a tribute to the 20-year anniversary of their hit album Superunknown, Soundgarden played a surprise performance at the festival.
Not only was the group’s set totally unexpected, but it featured the entirety of the album played front to back without interruption. It’s rare to see a band draw upon only one album for an entire set, let alone in the same order as the initial track listing. Needless to say, fans who made their way across the festival grounds to that show enjoyed a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.