The Best, The Weird, The Most Unforgettable of SXSW 2016

2016-03-16-6531156746299620Earlier this month, The Orchard made the annual trip down to Austin, Texas for SXSW 2016. From live shows to educational panels and our Texas Two-Step happy hours, the trip was one for the books. Our Orchardites hit the ground running, and per our annual tradition, here are some our most memorable experiences this year.

SXSW 2017 can’t come soon enough.

Allison Zatarain – Artist Management / GM Instant Records

2016 Highlight: Dion’s set on Thursday night at The Driskill Hotel
Favorite Orchard Hang: Riding in a pedi cab with Richard Gottehrer
Coolest Band I Accidentally Discovered: HINDS
Best Orchard Band I Saw: Dion
Favorite Panel: TIE: Richard interviewing Dion and Scott Cohen on a panel about artist-to-fan connections.
Weirdest Thing I Saw on 6th St: A llama
Most Innovative Thing I Saw: Lukas Graham’s name spray painted on the side walk on every block
New Favorite Food Spot in Austin: Juiceland
Wish I Had Time For, But… Rachel Ray’s showcase on Saturday

Amanda Suriani – Senior Manager, Client Relations

2016 Highlight: Brian Fallon solo acoustic set at Old School Bar & Grill. Brought me right back to my New Brunswick days.
Favorite Orchard Hang: Sidewinder for Diet Cig into Beach Slang, where The Orchard pride ran deep and the dancing was on point.
Coolest Band I Accidentally Discovered: The Dirty Nil on Dine Alone Records
Best Orchard Band I SawAnderson .Paak <3 <3 <3 
Favorite Panel: Surviving the Third Wave
Weirdest Thing I Saw on 6th St: A live snake wrapped around a woman. Hard pass.
Most Innovative Thing I Saw: (Vegan) Donuts in the shape of Voodoo dolls that were both delicious & needed (for personal reasons only!)
New Favorite Food Spot in Austin: Italic, because I’m Italian and love pizza for dinner (and leftovers for breakfast).
Wish I Had Time For, But… More food & music always!

Aaron Ford – Director, Digital Advertising

Coolest Band I Accidentally Discovered: PALM
Best Orchard Band I SawDrowners
Favorite Panel: Surviving the Third Wave
Weirdest Thing I Saw on 6th St: A reflection of myself

Marissa Putney – Director, Client Relations

2016 Highlight: Turnstile
Favorite Orchard Hang: Our happy hours both days
Coolest Band I Accidentally Discovered: Anderson .Paak
Best Orchard Band I Saw: Nai Harvest
Weirdest Thing I Saw on 6th St: This question should be what was the most normal thing you saw on 6th street
New Favorite Food Spot in Austin: Voodoo Donuts!
Wish I Had Time For, But… Wrong & Crowbar

Alyse Vellturo – Manager, Client Relations

2016 Highlight: Julien Baker at Central Presbyterian Church
Favorite Orchard Hang: Diet Cig at Sidewinder
Coolest Band I Accidentally Discovered: Liza Anne at Swan Dive
Best Orchard Band I Saw: Nai Harvest
Weirdest Thing I Saw on 6th St: Aaron Ford
Most Innovative Thing I Saw: I wore my lanyard as a belt the entire festival because I forgot to bring one.
New Favorite Food Spot in Austin: Lambert’s

Joanna Noyes – Director, Interactive Marketing & Audience Development

2016 Highlight: Anderson .Paak @ Pandora House, so much energy!!! Tied with Julien Baker on Wednesday night at the Central Presbyterian Church, amazing way to end the first night of my SXSW.
Favorite Orchard Hang: Diet Cig @ Sidewinder (Outside) on Friday night — for most of us it was our last night in Austin, so we went out dancing!
Coolest Band I Accidentally Discovered: The Cardboard Swords (Community Records Showcase) and The Dirty Nil (Dine Alone Showcase)
Best Orchard Band I Saw: Drowners

Diana Wollach – Director, Corporate & Product Marketing

2016 Highlight: Given that this was my very first SXSW, my highlight was simply to be part of it all and see what all the fuss was about.
Coolest Band I Accidentally Discovered: The coolest band I (re)-discovered was Mt. Wolf, whose lead guitarist is also the owner of Akira Records, one of the labels we distribute. They put on a killer 1AM show at The Continental Club which was hard to beat.
Best Orchard Band I Saw: Anderson .Paak is a force not to be ignored.
Favorite Orchard Hang: I loved hanging out at our Orchard Happy Hours — there was ping pong, coconut water (thanks VitaCoco!), instant photo prints and amazing people.
Wish I Had Time For, But… I wish I’d had time to catch even more bands. I saw 15+ and still didn’t see everyone I wanted to!

Tommy Borscheid – Senior Director, Client Acquisition & Retention

2016 Highlight: Anderson .Paak, he’s a future superstar.
Favorite Orchard Band: Death by Unga Bunga, pure Norwegian garage rock fun.
Wish I Had Time For, But… Margot Price, country songs about drinking, blessed by Jack White.
Favorite Food in Austin: Two words, breakfast tacos.

Jim Leavitt – Director of License and Sync

Favorite Orchard Hang: The Orchard Happy Hours was extremely cool this year
Coolest Band I Accidentally Discovered: Barns Courtney!
Best Orchard Band I Saw: Death By Unga Bunga  second year in a row!
Favorite Panel: I’d Like to Teach the World: Music Supervise and Ad
Weirdest Thing I Saw on 6th St: All the thousands of people on the street in the lightening storm on Friday night.  It didn’t stop anyone.
New Favorite Food Spot in Austin Lambert’s, excellent!
Wish I Had Time For, But…  Buying records. Never enough time for that.

Chris Duncan – Senior Manager at International Artist Services

2016 Highlight: Julien Baker’s voice
Favorite Orchard Hang: It had to be Diet Cig
Weirdest Thing I Saw on 6th St: Tom [Wheeley, Orchardite] telling Adrian Grenier from Entourage that he is “a f***ing legend, mate”
New Favorite Food Spot in Austin: Spartan Pizza near the Hype Hotel, do they deliver to London?
Wish I Had Time For, But… Chvrches, but Mexican food

Riker Griffiths – Director, Client Relations

2016 Highlight: Methyl Ethel
Favorite Orchard Hang: It’s a tie!: Orchard Happy Hours  /  Diet Cig show @ Sidewinder
Coolest Band I Accidentally Discovered: Julien Baker
Bets Orchard Band I Saw: Young Rival (Paper Bag Records)
Weirdest Thing I Saw on 6th St: Empty corrals in the middle of the street, leading to even more congestion than ever. Crazy.
Most Innovative Thing I Saw: More people on bicycles this year — a triumph for 19th Century innovation.
New Favorite Food Spot in Austin: Houndstooth Coffee
Wish I Had Time For, But… I didn’t make it to a single show east of I-35 this year.

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