This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO sMoRTy71.com -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
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Saturday, March 14, 2009
SXSWi 2009 Day 1 recap
Friday was my travel day as well as the first day of the festival. I left my house at 5AM EST with plans to arrive in a Austin around 10AM. Delays in Dallas cost us 2 hours; however, I was able to meet up with Louisville friends Todd Earwood, Kevin Frey and Dave Durand who were connecting to Austin through the same flight.

Day 1: On same flight with @earwood, @daved and @kevinfrey
Kevin Frey, Todd Earwood and Dave Durand at Gate A24 in Dallas

We arrived in Austin at noon to find it cold (40 degrees) and pouring rain. Our plans to catch up with Brendan Jackson, Nick Huhn and Jason Falls for lunch fell through, so we grabbed a cab for the Convention Center.

Because the line to claim our SXSWi badges was too long, we decided to split up for a bit to get checked into our hotels.

I ended up meeting back with Dave Durand just as he was about to go up to get his badge. He had been waiting in line for 45 minutes, but was kind enough to let me in line with him. In the process of getting our badge, we ran into Baratunde Thurston and Peter Corbett.

We decided to grab lunch next, so we reconnect with Kevin Frey and Todd Earwood at the Rio Grande. I was disappointed in the three for not knowing it was the same place they used for the house on The Real World Austin, however, I was not disappointed in the beef brisket tacos I had. Really tasty.

Day 1: Brisket tacos from the Rio Grande
Beef brisket tacos from the Rio Grande

After lunch, we returned to the Convention Center so that Todd and Kevin could get their badges. In the mean time, Dave and I got in line to get our tote bag o' swag. We ran into Nick Huhn who decided to join our group. Also bumped into Joanna Geary who I met last year.

Around 3:30pm, Todd, Kevin, Dave, Nick and I headed across the street for the SXSW Tweetup at Champions. Ran into a ton of people we knew including Micah Baldwin from Lijit, Dave Alston, Rich Mcinnis and Marcel Lebrun from Radian6, Jason Falls, Dave Delaney, Jeremy Wright, Krista Neher, Brendan Jackson, Jesse Harris, Chris Claxton and Rob May.

Also met some new people including Drew Olanoff, Dean Hudson from Sub Pop Records and Richard from Dell.

At about 6:30pm, a larger group of us headed for Mix at Six. Last year, the long was so long that we ended up skipping it to make our own party. This year, there were only about 15 people ahead of us, so we waited it out in the cold drizzle.

Once inside, we immediately bumped into old friend Bill Johnston and Dave Peck.

After a couple of drinks, we all decided to migrate to the TechSet/Windows Mobile party at the Belmont Lounge at 8pm. We ended up getting there a few minutes early and ended up the first in line. By the time they opened the doors 10 minutes later, there was a huge line of people queued up behind us.

TechSet was the big event for the night. Hundreds of people packed the rooftop patio including Adam Cohen from Rosetta, the Radian6 guys, Jason Falls, Jeremiah Owyang, Chris Heuer, Brian Solis, Julia Roy, Matt Winn, Chris Pearson, Liz Strauss, Charlie O'Donnell, Jackie Huba, Tim Walker and virtually everyone we had met or hung out with previously that day.

Day 1: TechSet party



A small group of us left TechSet and headed down to 6th Street. The plan was to catch the rest of the Pasties & Pastries event at Emo's, but the line was still down the block at 10:30pm. Instead, we grabbed a bratwurst from a street vendor, had one more drink at a random dive on 6th and called it a night.

Photos and video from Day 1 are on Flickr.

About Shawn Morton

Married father of 6; VP of Social Media at JPMorgan Chase; gluten-free; gadget enthusiast; hair metal aficionado; #Movember man View more on LinkedIn.