SXSWi in 2010 via oh I don’t know loads of places

homage to wankergirlSo here’s my poorly thought-out, unplanned, half-baked, undetailed, but totally awesome idea for the Spring of 2010.

I’ll be attending SXSWi in Austin, Texas again. My panel was not picked, but emotion aside all that means is that I’ll have to pay $blah or so for a ticket. So I’m definitely still going to go – it’s just well, you know, too lovely and awesome not to.

Last year we flew over a few days before and had some holiday time hanging out and getting acclimatimed and then flew back the day after interactive closed.

This time I want to take it a bit more gently. Here are the bare bones of the evil plan, which I’d prefer to do with a gang of tuttle-istas if we can find ways of funding it:

1. Find the shortest flight to North America possible (does that mean least-polluting? I don’t know but that seems like a good aim to bear in mind) and fly at least a week before SXSWi opens ie arrive March 5th at the latest.

2. Devise a series of train journeys from wherever I land, down to Austin, preferably going via New Orleans to visit that good friend of Tuttle, Mr Taylor Davidson and see how his Crescent City adventure is panning out. Yes, you read that right, train journeys. I understand that the US train system is not quite as beautiful or efficient as its European sisters. However, train travel rocks, it just does.

3. At stopping places throughout the journey hold Human-scale Conversation sessions with local people talking about differences between US and British culture – not trying to solve anything particularly, just getting the subject out on the table and seeing what comes of it. There will be heavy-duty social reporting of these conversations. Note that the format has been refined since July with some extra flourishes – this is how I introduced something like it at the Tuttle/Counterpoint event in December.

4. Once in Austin, continue to hold Human-scale Conversation sessions on the same subject and present #kebab-style what we heard, found, learned, saw along the way.

5. Make our way back to the east coast overland again, putting together a documentary film from the footage shot during the first part of the trip, so that we have something ready to show when we get back to London.

Howzat grab ya?


Here’s 8 ways you can help (and I’m sure you’ll come up with more)

1. Tell me how you’d improve on the plans and make them even more exciting.
2. Tell me why this is oh so very wrong-headed, misguided and stupid (I won’t listen very much, but I’d rather ask you for this than you just provide it out of the blue!).
3. Help me work out rough costings for each variation.
4. Provide money (just loads of it, regardless of the costs!)
5. Suggest routes and interesting stopover points, tell me why you think it’s interesting.
6. Volunteer to tag along and tell me how we’d pay for that.
7. Find other supporters with more money than time who’d like to see this happen.
8. Introduce me to sponsors who might provide help in terms of cash, food, shelter, transport as well as social reporting equipment.

UPDATE (18/01/10): The planning for this trip is now going on over here Come see!

11 thoughts on “SXSWi in 2010 via oh I don’t know loads of places”

  1. This all sounds like a very excellent plan.

    I think I’ll have to come up with some good reasons not to venture across to the States myself…

  2. If you want to have “Human-scale Conversations” with the locals, travel and save money I’ve always found the best way is to hitch.

    Why not fly to New Orleans and then hitch to Austin, possibly with some couch surfing thrown in. If some cash can be raised for the flight & ticket I’d be interested!

  3. You should certainly try to make it to Asheville, North Carolina and Athens, Georgia – they are the Austin-like cities of those respective states. A big college town and a high concentration of creative folks in the middle of the Bible Belt.

    Of course, if you came down to Orlando, you’d have a place to sleep. However, it’s not really “on the way” to Austin from the NorthEast.

    I would also recommend Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago and New York.

    Another one that’s out of your way is Portland, Maine. That’s different from Portland, Oregon, but pretty cool in its own right.

  4. That sounds like a wonderful adventure! Personally, I’ve always loved train travel (when it works ok & train had working facilities) and think American trains look interesting.
    Stopping off in New Orleans along the way sounds a great idea!
    Good luck on making it happen!
    Just wish I could come but will enjoy vicariously online, no doubt.

  5. I have my camera ready! I think all the places mentioned above will be good places but can we also stop at places that have things like “the largest ball of twine”? I like that kind of thing. I wonder if PayPal would give some money if I ask about PayPal along the way – haha 🙂 Will we be overnighting on trains or staying in hotels/ couches?

  6. Nice one Lloyd
    Good (non plan) plan.
    I like the idea of the train journey taking the sloooow ride to Austin. I’m thinking of going via NY (but alas won’t have time for a train connection to Austin). Both BA and Virgin have a sale right now and that seems the cheapest route to fly into Newark or JFK so could work well for you. That’s a big train ride to Texas though, but I guess that’s the whole point….
    Bon Voyage

  7. I’m on!

    Trying to be in Toronto for early March and travel on from there by train – hooking up with other Tuttles on the way.

    Researching flights etc now.

    I looked at doing a crossing by container ship or tramp steamer – but it’s too expensive and takes to long ;( – there’s also the problem of going crazy, scurvy etc.


  8. Just dropped my friend Donna an email – she used to work in new media at Ericsonn in NYC, so she might have some ideas of people for you to catch up with along the way.

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