By: Darren Bocksnick, Professional Hero, 08-02-19
There’s no shortage of music festivals and tech-centric events here in Austin, TX. It does, after all, hold the distinction as being “the live music capital of the world.” The one festival that ties music and tech together in, pure, harmonic fashion is SXSW or the South by South West Festival. SXSW is a multi-day event that combines Technology, Music, and Movies, attracting tens of thousands of visitors every year to the state’s eclectic, capital.
Hundreds of bands come to Austin to perform in the park, in the streets, and in the nooks and corners of the bustling city as well as in the burgeoning bar districts. Always, and ever-present is the music… and the music scene in Austin, in case you’ve never been – is unlike any other.
Equally, SXSW showcases the tech-side of Austin’s business scene. Businesses, leading tech companies, and entrepreneurs, alike -all come to Austin, TX for its creative culture and entrepreneurial vision. Austin is widely considered to be one of the top, tech-hubs in the country and one of the best places to launch a start-up. Additionally,, some of the world’s leading technology giants make their home and headquarters right here in Austin because of the tech-savvy, talent pool and a thriving economy.
Check out Austin’s own, “Silicon Hills” map for an overview of the tech companies that are thriving here in the capital city.
Also, in a similar manner, the performing arts are given ample, center-stage here in Austin, where actors, actresses, producers, and performers showcase their talents for their fans and audiences. Movies are often produced right here in Austin and the city is ripe with theatrical talent, from both here and abroad.
It is, however, always the music of Austin, that accompanies every event, and accentuates every business gathering or networking meetup, bringing the culturally diverse city together like the notes of a guitar being played in harmonic, tone-perfect progression. Music is the mold that forms Austin’s character at its core, expressing itself in diverse forms in a variety of genres and artistic talents
Interestingly, there is yet, another force at work in Austin, perhaps on equal footing as the music component and one that, in itself, brings ALL aspects of SXSW together in the best possible way – food, as in Food, you know, FOOD! To those who may or may not know this about Austin – the food scene here is, let’s just say, aMMMazing!
With food tour companies like the Food Tasting Network showcasing the culinary scene, with thousands of food trucks in operation at any given time, with Michelin-rated chefs, celebrity chefs and a whole spread of top-tier restaurants on the community table to choose from, Austin is a city that loves its cuisine! Always and invariably present at every SXSW event, whether it’s during the tech-week portion of the event, the performing arts’ section or the musical venues, the one component present in all of them is FOOD! Though, it’s key to point out, the food scene here in Austin is anything but ordinary; the food scene here is excellent at every level.
There are traditional cuisines from around the world that are praiseworthy of themselves, like Ethiopian Cuisine or even Serbian/Balkan cuisine, but then Austin doesn’t hold back on delivering deliciousness. Enter, the fusion food scene of Austin, which covers a broad palette of tastes ranging from Korean-Mexican, to Mexican-Italian to Indian-Chinese among others. Each offers flavorful food pairings that will treat your tongue to a torrent of tastes…
Yes, Austinites, along with the innumerable tourists who travel here year-round all agree – Austin’s food scene is dynamic enough, diverse enough, and delicious enough that, we all think it’s time… It’s time for another tier of SXSW to be born – introducing Food Week!
SXSW should consider adding Food Week or Culinary/Cuisine Week, or Foodie Week to the annual event’s itinerary. Why? Well, if celebrating our amazing culinary scene here in Austin isn’t enough; festival organizers should consider it for the financial component. With an extra week of SXSW focusing on the culinary scene, it would bring in another, completely unrelated crowd of food enthusiasts to Austin, helping local businesses and bringing focus to their establishments.
This would be one of the only events of it’s kind in the country that gives special focus to the city’s rich and vibrant culinary scene. SXSW is one of the most celebrated festivals in the country, and rightfully so, it brings people from around the world, from every walk of life and welcomes them in traditional, Austin-arms-wide-open manner – to our beloved city. Therefore, adding a fourth tier of the festival – one that focuses on the renowned food scene here in Austin, would benefit the city’s restaurant/hospitality and tourism industries in unprecedented ways.
Yes, SXSW is one of the coolest “music” festivals around, but it could be even, cooler – by adding a fourth tier to the festival. Having a food week during SXSW would showcase the amazing food trucks, celebrated chefs and dynamic, dining venues that exist in our cool Lil’, big city. This would also add yet, another dimension of coolness to Austin’s already, eclectic vibe.
May foodies everywhere raise their plates and forks to rally behind this great undertaking. Let’s unite to bring awareness to the benefits of having a new tier added to the SXSW festival – one that focuses on the rich, culinary traditions of Austin.
After all, Austin is so much more than the music, so much more than Dirty 6th Street, so much more than the University of Texas, so much more than big tech companies and start-ups… Austin is, was, and always will be just as much about the FOOD! Let’s give this concept of adding on a fourth tier to the SXSW festival – the ample consideration and attention it deserves.
With nationally renowned holistic food chains basing their operations here in Austin, celebrated restaurants making their debut, and the city has earned the dubious distinction of being the most, “taco-obsessed city in the country“, it’s time to put Austin’s food scene – on the map! Let SXSW’s very own food week, start prepping it’s finest platter… the best of Austin’s culinary craft is yet to come!