For those of us who have done many festivals it's a simple statistical certainty that we will experience some wet ones. And this was one of those. Initial morning (Friday) was dry for arrival and setting up so a small blessing but the persistent rainfall Friday evening and night meant the festival site, an Oxfordshire farm, turned into a muddy swamp which remained for the whole weekend. It would have taken a heatwave of Saharan proportions to have dried it out.

During the murky depths of last Winter, booking two Spanish festivals on successive weekends (the first one was BBK in Bilbao), seemed like a good idea.... Thankfully, post Bilbao fatigue was forgotten due to a few days in Pamplona and the always excellent company of friends and fellow Rock Clubbers Si, Sally & Ali.

Bilbao is a beautiful modern city in Northern Spain, sitting between mountain ranges which surround the estuary of Bilbao. BBK festival has been running for 8 years and is located part way up the mountains to the south of the city. It attracts c 100,000 people over it's whole course but breaking this down to a daily footfall it makes for about 30,000 each day. The site has a compact feel but it never feels overly busy and moving around was easy.

Back from my 17th trip to Worthy Farm. I arrived in England during the mini heatwave. On Wednesday it was 34 degrees. Thursday was perfect. There was some drizzle at the weekend but all in all one of the easiest years weather-wise.

As a quick overview, it was another successful SXSW. It's not an easy festival to negotiate without some serious planning. With 100's of unofficial shows and a slew of SXSW showcases to choose from/ The cost of the badge (if you buy one), hotels and flights, and the Increasing distance between venues means you must have a plan, then have a back up plan.

It's the last day of what has been a solid visit to Austin. The sun is shining and a well balanced week means we still have some energy to be able to walk around the city so we are off It's a quick walk into the convention centre to check out Flatstock (a huge market of concert posters and gear) and while in the building we are able to catch two bands;

Thanks to social media and a few great SXSW websites that dedicate themselves to highlighting the open parties each day (showlistaustin) we decide to hit a party that we have not been to before. The party put on by Wild Honey Pie is in a perfect venue. Another outdoor 2 stage venue that means they can have bands play back to back all day long and there is lots of good beer and lots of sun and plenty of seating!

Our plan today is to head out of the city centre, get away from the masses, and go to a yearly party at Hotel San Jose. This party, referred to as South By San Jose, is a completely free event, no badge required. Its an ideal setting no matter whether you have a badge or not. Its always well attended and the promoter who curates the show has very good taste in music so there is always quality bands playing.

Its another solid day of shows but there are a few key performers we need to see today and some favorite venues to visit and with SXSW Music really kicking off today, the city is getting a little busier.

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