Posted on March 21, 2011 at 12:18 PM
The fun is over and the clean-up work is underway. The music portion of South by Southwest finished up Saturday night. Thousands of visitors poured out of Austin Sunday, leaving behind posters, bags of trash and dirty streets.
“We’re basically cleaning up all this mayhem down here downtown,” David Naylor, a member of the clean-up crew, said.
At hotels all over Austin, visiting guests and bands checked out and went home.
“It was great,” SXSW performer Courtney Kaiser said. “The crowd was good and the sound was good at Elysium, where we played, that can be really dicey. So it was great.”
The Austin Music Awards brought the 25th year of SXSW to a close Saturday night, and went off without a hitch. The Bright Light Social Hour swept some of the biggest awards, winning Band of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year.
Not all events ran so smoothly. Thousands of fans RSVP’d to a Kanye West concert at the Seaholm Power Plant downtown, and many of the confirmed guests left disappointed after an email went out telling them they could no longer get in.
And at Stubb’s early Friday morning, a camera boom fell onto a crowd at an OMD concert, sending four fans to the hospital. EMS confirmed that the injuries are not life-threatening.
Controlling the crowds was also difficult for security this year. Thursday night, a crowd of 5000 pushed down security fence to try and get into the Strokes concert at Auditorium Shores.
Afterwards, SXSW improved security and changed the way lines of music fans entered the free concerts. Now that the shows are over, crews are tearing down the stage and picking up the trash at the large outdoor venue.
Still, for thousands of Austin residents, Sunday also meant a sigh of relief.
“Traffic has been heavy this week,” Chad Nelson said. “Looking forward to some of that dying down a little bit.”