Let me start by saying, I’m just too old for this.
Well, at least I’m too old to do South By the way I used to.
I still have fomo and I still hate seeing something cool I missed online. However, I can’t be running all over town trying to snap pics of everything. It’s too exhausting. And, quite frankly, it’s not always fun.
What’s the point doing it if it isn’t fun?
That being said, here are my fun highlights from weekend one of SXSW 2017.
The weekend actually started on Thursday, as it always does, with the Texas Film Awards.
This year’s honorees and guests included Olivia Applegate, Sarah Green, Nick Kroll, Jeff Nichols, Michael Shannon and the legendary Shirley MacLaine.
Following badge pickup on Friday, I wandered around Rainey Street before heading to the Party to Protect fundraiser at Hard Luck Lounge on the East side.
Next up was the Song to Song screening where I snapped pics of the stars arriving (though I missed Ryan Gosling because the SXSW red carpet alert didn’t include him). Read more about the premiere here.
From there, it was on to some official SXSW film parties and then, the night ended with a Dev Patel sighting.
Be still my heart.
Saturday was chock full of celebrity goodness.
It started with a few panels: Independent TV: A New Road to Success, The Female Lens: Creating Change Beyond the Bubble, Inside the Making of Preacher and A Conversation with Melanie Lynskey.
A stop at the Fast Company grill followed (where I chatted with Nick Uhas from Big Brother Season 15), and then it was onto the Lionsgate Lounge where I crossed paths with Cole Sprouse from the CW’s Riverdale before checking out the Power Rangers display (not sure how those female rangers operate in heels).
A meet and greet with the cast of Small Town Crime was next.
You can read more about my run-ins with Octavia Spencer, Michael Vartan and more here.
The evening ended with a fantastic party sponsored by Buzzfeed and The CW celebrating Riverdale. Themed drinks and foods were passed around as guests lined up for customized shirts and totes. Riverdale cast members KJ Apa, AKA Archie, and Cole Sprouse, Jughead, were also on hand to make an appearance on stage and mingle with fans.
As I was calling it a night, I bumped into Justin Baldoni, star of The CW’s Jane the Virgin.
What a hottie.
By Sunday, I was pretty worn out, but I still managed to make it another star studded day.
It started with a stop at the Animal Kingdom installation where cast members Ben Robson, Jake Weary and Finn Cole hit the FlowRider surf simulator. Shawn Hatosy kept warm and dry nearby.
Season two of Animal Kingdom premieres on TNT on May 30.
The Game of Thrones showrunner panel followed. I can’t even begin to tell you how adorable cast members/ moderators Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner are. At times, the girls could hardly hold it together and Turner continuously joked about how they were the worst moderators ever. Actually, though, they were completely entertaining.
It was onto Nat Geo’s Basecamp from there to enjoy some Genius themed drinks before Ron Howard and Brian Grazer discussed the network’s first scripted series. They were joined by cast members Johnny Flynn and Samantha Colley.
The evening ended with Amazon Prime’s celebration of American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story where Hef’s son Cooper enjoyed the festivities (which included a custom boxer printing station). Read more about the series here.
And that’s a wrap. On three days anyway.
Six more to go!