I live in Austin, so I get to stay here for the entire South by Southwest festival ... and beyond. So I get to see the transition during the festival where the Interactive and Film conferences end (although movies continue to screen through Saturday), and the Music portion engulfs downtown entirely. Every year I still get a jolt of surprise when I see the changes downtown for the Music festival. This year, I was completely surprised. During the film festival, you get used to seeing the insides of theaters and the convention center a lot, but Music spills out into the streets, all through downtown Austin.
I drove downtown yesterday to catch Woodpecker at Alamo Ritz. (And I got in, yay! The movie sold out all three of its screenings.) The parking garage where I'd paid a high but reasonable fee of $7 to park my car earlier in the week was now charging $15. Don't we have price-gouging laws in this town? Sheesh. Fortunately, it was late enough in the day for me to find a metered spot on the street and pay a much more acceptable rate of $1.50. (We keep lots of quarters around the house to use for parking meters during SXSW.) It was pointed out to me later that the Convention Center garage always charges $7 throughout the fest, which is handy advice for us locals.