SXSW Party Report: Lots Of Nerds, Not Enough Booze

AUSTIN – Valleywag’s Owen Thomas calls SXSW “spring break for web developers”. Two big differences between developer spring break and everyone else’s: 1) The average IQ is a lot higher here. 2) It’s a lot easier to get a drink everywhere else.

On Friday, for instance, there was a line around the block at Porter-Novelli’s opening night party – the only official one in Austin. Good luck getting more than one beverage before the open bar shut down after two hours.

At least there more parties Saturday night. But all of them had huge crowds, too. We stood in line for
the Google party at Light Bar for about 30 minutes before being ushered in through a back entrance — where we ran into a wall of people.

The most interesting one was “Fred”, who said he worked for Yahoo, and told us that his job was “to beat Google.” Last night, Fred figured the best way to do this was to stand near the bar and whip Google-branded drink coasters into the crowd.

Fred, you dummy! Don’t you know you can’t beat Google — it can only beat itself? More than one person, for instance, pointed out that Google’s party seemed an awful lot like Yahoo’s party last year. Including the fact that both were held in the same place.

At least Frog Design’s party had more room — the Mexican-American cultural centre is huge. But the
“strategic-creative consultancy” couldn’t figure out the right strategy for its booze distribution, which meant anyone who wanted a 12-oz beer had to invest 20 to 30 minutes waiting in line.

Are you picking up on a theme here? Here’s one more: The most excitement at Laughing Squid’s 16bit Party took place outside the Scoot Inn, when employees stopped letting people in. Digg’s Kevin Rose ignored them and simply climbed a fence. Just like they do online, a horde of people followed him.

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