It was the year of the hashtag, for better or worse.
Everywhere you looked during the South By Southwest Music festival, there was a corresponding hashtag—even in the sky.
From Samsung’s #PowerUp phone-battery swapping to the #boldomissions for Lady Gaga’s s puke-laden performance, there was no shortage of weirdness and innovation in Austin, and Twitter powered the conversation.
We’ve been taking it all in with our friends at Deep Eddy, and couldn’t be more in awe of this year’s craziest moments. Here are our top seven #SXSWins from the music fest.
Don’t forget you can also check out our complete selections at sxswinsandfails.tumblr.com.
1) Pi in the sky
It’s hard to beat the clever pun from AirSign, a Florida aerial advertising company. To commemorate Pi Day, the company spelled out the first part of π using five different planes, stretching hundreds of miles in the sky, captivating curious onlookers. The accompanying hashtag, #PiInTheSky, trended on Twitter.
Photo by Austin Powell
2) Samsung Galaxy Concert Series
The Samsung Galaxy Concert Series arguably stole the show at SXSW. The Kanye West and Jay-Z show was by far one of the most anticipated events of the entire festival. Fans were lining up at 2am the night before the show just to be one of the 600 Galaxy phone owners to win a ticket. The duo didn’t disappoint, playing 36 songs over the course of the near two-hour event. And who can object to Kanye’s awesome leather kilt? Samsung also brought in the Broken Bells and Cut Copy.
— Hip Hop N More (@HHNMblog) March 13, 2014
3) Ray Ban’s free haircuts
Brands give away truck loads of free stuff at SXSW in hopes that you might remember them the next time you’re at the store. But it’s hard to beat Ray Ban’s approach to SXSW swag: It gave away free haircuts for all comers. It’s going to be hard not to talk about the company when you head home to family and friends with a new look.
— Tania Ortega (@TaniaonFox7) March 12, 2014
4) Hotels.com stands in line for you
Even the most elite of the VIPs were confronted with lines galore this SXSW. But Hotels.com made sure your time in the human gridlock wasn’t wasted. Whether you needed that brat from the trailer a few blocks away, a quick beer, a bio break, or to run charge your dying phone at one of the many stations, #skiptheline waiters came running and held your spot in line, asking for nothing in return.
— Andrew Minnick (@tx9am) March 14, 2014
5) Rachael Ray does it again
Celebrity chef Rachael Ray drew a packed house at Stubbs BBQ for her seventh annual Feedback Party. Even after making our all-time list, she managed to one-up herself once again. Featuring a killer lineup that included CeeLo Green, Blondie, Allen Stone, the Wild Feathers and local favorite Bob Schneider, there was a little something for everyone to rock to. Above all else, the whiskey-soaked chicken wings made the notoriously long lines well worth it. Ray’s hospitality earned her “Honorary Citizen of Austin” status from Mayor Lee Leffingwell.
— Team Rachael (@TeamRachael) March 15, 2014
6) Uber All Access
Uber saved the day again for those lucky enough to snag a coveted UberX and ride for free all around town. The car-share company upped the game this year with #UberALLACCESS, launching flash rewards like Bentley rides, “Cash Cash Cab’s” rides (some complete with guest celebrities), and access to private shows, movie premieres, and drool-worthy tastings. It was a classy way to make a splash at SXSW, and fans rewarded them with much love on Twitter and beyond.
— Gregory Aston (@gregaston) March 14, 2014
7) Vevo brings the iTunes Festival on home
While attendees in Austin were tweeting live updates from the shows across our fair city, Vevo was hard at work streaming every single iTunes Festival performance to audiences around the world. Just before the festival began, Vevo announced a partnership with Apple to livestream each show to Apple devices. It’s a rare chance for those who couldn’t attend the festival to enjoy the action, from Soundgarden to Kendrick Lamar and Willie Nelson For those of you who weren’t at SXSW and couldn’t catch the livestream, you can still watch the recordings on Vevo. Well played, Vevo, well played.
— VEVO (@VEVO) March 15, 2014
With over 150 pouring stations around town during SXSW, Deep Eddy Vodka showed some classic Austin hospitality. After all, good old-fashioned vodka always makes for a #SXSWin.
Photo via WireImage/Samsung