The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

Editor’s Picks: Favorite SXSW Memories

Victor Martinez | Sports Editor

I would sum up my time at South by Southwest (SXSW) in one word: thrilling — though a lot of the thrill I felt was probably closer to panic and hurry. When I wasn’t hearing from leading voices in film, journalism, and music, I was weaving through the Convention Center’s crowds for seating at the next session, scouring whole blocks for the closest shuttle, or spending upwards of $30 for a pedicab to cross the length of the city to catch another film premiere. But I was always eager to go through the festival’s hustle and bustle all over again the next day. Save for the time I arrived just in time to hear staff announce the theater had already reached full capacity minutes before, attending the premieres always excited me for they were by far my most thrilling memories at the festival. Nothing can top the feeling of being among the first to experience the year’s best movies yet, having an entire theater laughing, roaring with applause, and losing themselves in the story alongside you. From the gory, transfixing action of Dev Patel’s “Monkey Man” that had me on the edge of my seat its entire runtime, to the all too real immigrant story of Sundance’s award-winning “Dìdi”, I never would have imagined movies would evoke from me the full range of emotion I felt at the screenings.

Megan Gerold | Entertainment Editor

Throughout my life in Austin and my countless hours driving through its endless traffic, I thought I knew a lot about the city I grew up in. But until my experience at SXSW, I don’t think I’ve ever truly explored the heart and soul of what makes up this city. Amidst the week of SXSW, I only spent time at home to sleep, shower, and eat. Every time my head hit my pillow, dead with exhaustion, the noise and vibrance of downtown begged me to head back out to the pounding and thrumming life of a city that doesn’t exist in the suburbs. Moments of extremity that were punctuated by calm respites all combined to make the best memory I have of SXSW be the exploration of the booming and eccentric streets of downtown Austin. On every corner was a new experience to have, a new person to meet, and a brand to get free merchandise from. I spent my time learning a city I have walked over my entire life in a brand new way, and while it was slightly embarrassing to have to use Google Maps in my hometown, all of that was overshadowed by the discoveries I made while living and breathing Austin. Amongst clouded and crowded sidewalks I dodged cars, listened to live music, and made lasting memories with my senior friends that would leave my life in just a few short months. My air of self-confidence lasted just long enough to make me feel responsible and grown-up for finding my way to the nearest convenience store, and while the exact way to get to the Convention Center may be lost in my mind, when I walk it again, my feet just might remember their way.

LiLi Xiong | Managing Editor

Watching the premier of a Harry Styles fanfiction movie was not on my 2024 bingo card. Neither was Anne Hathaway starring in and co-producing said Harry Styles fanfiction movie. But last March, I found myself waiting alongside copy editor Sanwi Sarode in a line sprawling several blocks down the Paramount, dubious that this fan fiction-turned-movie, as a headliner of the SXSW film festival, would live up to the other incredible films I watched throughout the week. But let me assure you that watching “The Idea of You” in the Paramount alongside the cast and a lively SXSW audience was nothing short of a serotonin-inducing, feet-kicking, whirlwind of an experience. “The Idea of You” follows the romance between a 40-year-old recently divorced mother Solène Marchand and “Summer Moon” boy-band pop sensation Hayes Campbell. The two met at Coachella, which Solène was forced to go to against her own will, as she’d much rather be curating art for her whimsical, sophisticated art store. The camp-ness was astounding. The level of unhinged was through the roof. And by the end of the movie, my heart was left fuller, and the void in the shape of a Harry Styles fanfiction movie within me was filled.

Katie Busby | Entertainment Editor

Waiting for the SXSW list of artists to drop is always an agonizing process. It happens slowly in sections, with some showcases not being released until mere weeks before the event. However, there is some excitement in it when you suddenly see on a random day that people you really like are coming, and that happened to me this year. When the Rolling Stone showcase lineup dropped, I was very excited about all the names I recognized on it, from Flo Mili to Faye Webster. My co-editors and I planned a few of our evenings around attending this showcase and it was such an amazing opportunity to see these up-and-coming artists perform to the large crowds that flocked to the Moody Theater each night. Each night had a different vibe. The first one we attended was a highlight on Latin Music with artists such as Peso Pluma and Young Miko, and while they spoke far too fast for me to understand with my mediocre Spanish skills, the beats of their songs and engaging performances made the night very enjoyable. The next night we attended to see Flo Mili; her catchy lyrics and fast-paced rap has always made me feel upbeat and ready to go out, so getting to jump around with the rest of the crowd was a really great experience. The last night we got to see Faye Webster, one of my favorite artists, and as we saw them slowly blow up the giant inflatable bust of her at the back of the stage I knew it was going to be a memorable show. Overall this showcase allowed me to see so many artists I love and expose them to a wider audience so more people can love them.

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