SXSW spills into East Austin for marriage of old, new
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If you venture into Dan’s Hair Styling on East Sixth Street for a trim, you will get an instant sense of old school Austin.
"We're all good people here you know," owner Dan Ojeda said.
This week, alongside that retro vibe is the hipster sounds of South by Southwest bleeding into the east side of Interstate-35.
The blending of old and new is creating a revolution of different cultures and generations each can embrace. While most of the SXSW action is downtown, there are venues east of the interstate playing host to the conference.
At the Spotify House on East Cesar Chavez, resident artist Trevor Skeet has danced on the Live Music Capital of the World welcome mat seven years straight.
"Austin being the beautiful city it is says, ‘Hey, come on!’” Skeet said. "Come on you weirdo musicians, you weirdo tech people. Come in, share your art, share your art. We want to embrace it."
Skeet, an L.A. resident, has witnessed the yearly fest burst from the downtown seams, pouring due east.
"It reminds me of East Los Angeles,” Skeet said. “Like traditional Hispanic neighborhoods where people moved in brought their art, their flavor, creating this incredible hodge-podge and people from all over the world bringing their influences, spreading love and good vibe."
For Orjeda—who has been cutting hair in the same eastside spot for 50 years—says he doesn’t mind the new sounds and revenue streaming into his part of the neighborhood.
"It's real good for SXSW to be moving from downtown because business is still good for me," he said.
The SXSW conference wraps up March 17.