The interactive portion of South by Southwest just ended. South by Southwest is a large tech, music and film conference in Austin, Texas which attracts 40,000 people.
Multiple parties are thrown per day, and they range from elaborate to brilliantly simple. Ashton Kutcher threw a party where Nas performed. But one of the best parties we attended was visibly cheap and it was refreshing to see a strapped-for-cash startup not blow tons of money organising a get-together.
Down, formerly Bang With Friends, has raised about $US1 million and it doesn’t currently make money. But the hookup app wanted to have a presence at South by Southwest. It rented an empty building on the main drag of Austin, Waller Ballroom, at 700 E 6thStreet. Initially, the party was supposed to be outside on a lawn — which would have likely been cheaper — but Austin was rainy, so Down moved the party indoors.
Inside, the building was totally empty except for a table with handles of liquor and mixers, and long rows of beer pong tables. A keg sat in the corner with piles of red plastic cups. Casual beer pong went on all afternoon. There were snacks from Austin Taqueria too.
It felt like a house party. The only decor were some raunchy signs that fit Down’s casual-sex brand and stickers that read, “Damn, you look sexy.” CEO Colin Bragg was easily accessible and he confirmed that the party was dirt-cheap to throw. We partnered with Valleywag’s Same Biddle. Needless to say, we went undefeated.
Here are the raunchy signs:
And here’s the beer pong in action: