Well, in their ongoing effort to make SXSW as miserable an experience as possible for Austin music fans, the powers that be have decided to use the most ridiculous system I've ever seen for selling wristbands. For those of you who aren't from around here, the wristband system is the bone SXSW throws us in exchange for their clogging our city with clueless out-of-town record executives for a week. Thousands of people come to town for a week, fill up our clubs, restaurants, streets, and parking lots, and tell us how they do it in L.A. (note to you record types from the coasts: we don't care.). In exchange for putting up with this, we get to buy wristbands for $130, wait in long lines for hours on end, and, occasionally, get to see a band or two we like or have heard good things about. Doesn't that sound like a good deal?
In the past, wristband sale dates have been announced in advance, so you could plan your day/week around getting a wristband. But not this year. This year, in an effort to keep the scalpers away, you have to sign up to be text messaged at a phone with a 512 area code the moment they go on sale, then be able to drop everything to go buy tickets. This is a terrible plan. It won't stop the scalper problem; tons of scalpers live here, and other normal people will sell their wristbands, no question. In addition, not announcing the dates in advance, and only allowing 512 cell phones is seriously discriminatory to people who have:
- a dependence on public transportation.
- phones with non-Austin numbers even though they actually live in Austin.
I'm really getting tired of SXSW's prima donna act.