A Collective Tour Diary: The D.I.Y. of South By Southwest

A Collective Tour Diary: The D.I.Y. of South By Southwest

Recently I went out on tour with South By Southwest being the focal point of the trip. I was with Hodera again, and before I go any further I should thank them endlessly. Instead of trudging through the specific moments of the band in a weekly tour diary, I thought it was necessary to express as much as possible about all of the bands that were all at South By Southwest this past year; doing the damn thing with the D.I.Y. spirit stitched into our noble and youthful hearts. It was more than just a music festival full of extravagant tacos and sights, it was a place that friends from across the country could centralize and revive friendships; all for the sake of music.

My best friend once told me that when I fall in love, I throw all of my eggs into one basket and go all in at the poker table. I started thinking about that more and more the last year, letting in unravel me in ways that were pretty dark. But this year I spent a week at SXSW surrounded by love, music and individuals that might do the same thing. I let it circulate for the last week of tour, having it take over my thought processes as we all drove farther away from each other. I had the realization when I was walking home in the rain listening to my friends music and I felt a bit overwhelmed. I was happy to have been there, to have seen them play yet still sad because these individuals are in another place and now we are reconverting our lives back to quote/unquote normal.

But, to fall so in love with these things is not debilitating at all; it is empowering. We all do that. By ‘we’ I mean the people that are: risking their lives, putting themselves in debt, pushing their immune systems to a breaking point, believing in themselves, their creativity and most of all each other. And all for what? Money? No. Fame? Not really. The source of the answer is “music.”

When I was at SXSW this year I saw not just people, but artists looking to let out their fears, anxieties, love and even their random thoughts to the world. As we sat in various circles we all can bounced between conversations, hopped in on jokes and offered comfort through the rough times, but when our friends began to play the orchestra of their heart; we listened. We all struggle and strive just to be heard. The connections and bonds that are made through music last more than a lifetime. They go beyond infinity. They become a very emotion of our story. The biggest smiles I saw across SXSW were from people in trance from the sounds of our art ringing in the air waves. It is life affirming to see individuals making a different path in life and benefitting from it.

The three thousand or so miles under my feet for the month of March and tour is just a number. It is the experiences birthed from that time that mean the world to me. One can even consider it my worl- no, our world. There is more to the spectacle of D.I.Y. culture than meets the eye. We could come from different planets and solar systems but we would still have the inspiration of each other to compartmentalize and cherish forever. That’s empowering.

There’s an empty weight found when we all come home from a tour. We’re exhausted and cannot answer even the most basic question, “so… how was tour?” It is impossible to put into words. All the stories unearth themselves as time moves along, just as if we are reintroducing ourselves to people we may have never met. I will say that at one point there was a group of us trying to get the infamous star that is Ke$ha to come to a showcase and hang out with us.

I tried to write a tour diary but instead wrote a love letter. I miss every single person I met and in a way, fell in love with from this past South By Southwest tour. If I am going to keep putting my eggs into one basket for something, it will be music. I am pretty sure that is what all of us will answer.

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