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March 11, 2018

SXSW is cool. But have you heard of Not SXSW?

SXSW, more commonly known as “South By” if you’re even a little bit cool, is an annual gathering where creators from around the country come together to connect, share, learn, eat tacos, and say things like “Hey, are you going to this panel?” (this info is solely based off snapchats and Instagram stories).

It seems fun tbh. Who wouldn’t want to sing karaoke with Ashton Kutcher or get Alexa’s autograph or get blackout drunk with Elon Musk (side note: I don’t think I really understand what SXSW is). The closest thing I’ve experienced to the conference is when I wandered into an Apple store once when I was drunk.

But I don’t like being out of the loop, and I also get serious FOMO, so I decided to bring SXSW to me here in Washington DC.

The truth is, you don’t have to book a flight to Austin to experience the festivities. SXSW is all around us. Maybe SXSW has been in our hearts the whole time.

Check out some of the highlights from my week at #NotSXSW below!

Day 1

Live music is a staple of South by Southwest. But, um, hello, you can find great music ANYWHERE. You just have to be willing to look. For instance, I stumbled into a bar where a Killers cover band was playing. How lucky am I?!



Day 2

Innovation is also one of the biggest buzzwords thrown around SXSW. And Innovation is all around us. Did you know that before escalators existed people had to manually walk up/down stairs to get to various floors in a building? This was a very sobering moment for me at #NotSXSW.

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Me riding an escalator outside of Washington DC

And speaking of innovation: Where would we be without traffic lights? #NotSXSW is about appreciating the necessary inventions in our everyday lives.


Everyone at SXSW always talks about Mexican food. Riddle me this: If I didn’t go to SXSW then how do I have this picture of me dining at an authentic Mexican restaurant?


I love pop-up exhibits. While wandering around one night I randomly ran into this booth. Apparently you can put in your credit card and get cash out. Pretty cool, huh? #NotSXSW #Innovation #Creators #Influencers #Subscribe


Day 3

Caught the end of a very engaging panel. Each panelist had a fascinating background and it was great seeing how they connected with audience members.


There are also tons of celebrities walking around the SXSW grounds. But that’s not the only place where you can rub shoulders with the rich and famous. Look who I ran into at #NotSXSW!

SPOILER ALERT: It’s the french fries from Super Size Me (2004).


Day 4

Today I’m just taking it easy and relaxing a bit in my trendy Airbnb. #NotSXSW can be exhausting with everything going on! But I can’t wait to see what the rest of the trip brings.


Check back for updates and follow my trip on Twitter @savittj.