Here are the 10 most facepalm-worthy fails we encountered along the way.
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10.) The failure to plan (AKA, “Thanks, Obama!”)
Traffic was mostly nice during President Barack Obama’s visit largely due to the mayor begging Austinites to stay home that day, but you couldn’t say the same thing for travelers trying to squeeze through the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
— Seth Cohen (@sethacohen33) March 11, 2016
For one, we’re glad he came to Austin instead of doing literally anything else, but we’re biased. Poor Seth here failed to anticipate what everyone else in the city had prepared for, and you can’t really blame Obama for that, though he tried. Even so, we got this awesome double rainbow shot before the president left, and that’s worth something right?
9.) Tolerance Fail
A SXSW volunteer asked an Olympic athlete remove her headscarf for reasons unknown. (*cough*) This isn’t how we do things in Austin and the SXSW people know it. The controversy that followed was swift and severe.
— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) March 14, 2016
Thankfully, they did the right thing and quickly apologized.
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) March 13, 2016
8.) 6th Street Overcrowding Fail
It’s bad enough on Dirty 6th on a normal Saturday night, but take up a good third of the standing area and you create a nightmare to navigate on foot. Then again, considering #6 on this list (you’ll see), maybe it was for the best. Still a huge pain.
— Kevin Ketterlin (@kevket07) March 17, 2016
7.) Weather Fail
This year’s SXSW had mostly nice weather, save but for a few little scares. Like, um, that time a huge venue was evacuated. Yeeeahh…
The FADER FORT has been evacuated because of weather. Seek shelter and check here for updates. We’re hoping to reopen as soon as possible.
— The FADER (@thefader) March 19, 2016
At least it wasn’t a total loss.
— sxsw lumley (@blakelumley) March 19, 2016
6.) Failing to act like grown ups
Nothing bothers us more than people who come to our festivals with bad vibes, and this ugly scene ended up with gunfire on 6th Street and APD locking it all down with an urgency. Thankfully, they got the guy. Or so we’re told.
Killeen man arrested in SXSW shooting incident https://t.co/BgZHd4AUSo
— Austin Statesman (@statesman) March 20, 2016
Watch the footage here (gunshots are heard around 1:38)…
5.) Failure to represent Austin to the world
Doc’s, why??? We want to love you, we really do, but you make it hard sometimes.
To be fair, Doc’s sort-of apologized after the social media storm whipped up over this sign and changed the message to read, “We love and support spandex.”
4.) Failed attempts at marketing
Stuff like this was also everywhere. Thankfully, the city wrapped all our phone and light posts with plastic to make cleanup easier. Still, this crappy attempt at promoting Kelly Rowland’s new show on BET left some venue owners rightfully upset. An empty wall or sidewalk is one thing, but crappy chalk paint (that apparently doesn’t wash off that easily) over actual art? For shame.
3.) Whimsical event name fail
This is just one example of how weird event names are getting at SXSW. There’s so much going on, after all, you’ve gotta set yourself apart. But, um, The Bubble Family Party? Really? If you’re one of the thousands of tourists wandering around, this might sound like a crazy good time and totally unlike anything else going on… Until you arrive and realize it’s actually just a jam session at Guero’s. (Upside: At least they have great margaritas.)
2.) Affordability fail
These guys might as well just put up a sign that says, “Get off my lawn!”