words and pictures by Brian Solis

Yes, with every year that passes, SXSW grows many-fold. Many are saying that the event is already too mainstream and are calling for change, not just for the conference, but for the infamous parties as well.

If I had one word to describe my experience thus far, it would be, “lines.” Please note, that I’m a big fan of SXSW and its culture. The lines however, are simply out of control.

So, what do you do if you are tired of waiting in a never-ending line to get into the hottest party in Austin during SXSW?

You throw your own party.

Last night, while waiting, endlessly, to get into the popular 16-bit party during SXSWi, good friend Gary Vaynerchuk of WineLibraryTV hollers, “F this. I’m not dealing with this s**t! Who wants free wine?”

Frank Gruber and I looked up in relief and asked, “Are you serious? Because if you are, then let’s do this. Let’s do this right now.”

Vaynerchuk shoots back, “Get everyone to the Marriott now, I have seven cases of killer wine!”

Gruber, Kristen Nicole of Mashable, and I were on the case.

One short, brisk pedi-cab later, we arrived at the Marriott lobby.

Our Pedi-Cabbie

A few Twitters later, people, incredible people descended upon the unsuspecting hotel staff.

Gary, being the rock star that he is, somehow managed to have the Marriott open the cafe for us to celebrate the love and enjoy the fact that we’re all in one incredible city for an amazing event together.

A few additional Twitters from friends such as Chris Brogan, Rana Sobhany, and Caroline McCarthy, and the room was completely full. With every new twitter update from those in attendance, the room started to spill over into the hallways.

But, we can’t let Twitter take sole credit. Powncers, including Pownce’s Leah Culver, helped spread the word.

Kevin Rose of Digg

It was only a matter of time until we tested the final nerves of hotel guests and staff. At 12:30, we were done. We got the boot.

But the evening didn’t end there.

Vaynerchuk announced, “Omni…lobby…now.”

Gruber stayed back to help with clean up. Kristen and I jumped in another pedi-cab and we raced off to alert the lobby bar staff that a flash mob was on the way.

Almost the entire party migrated to the Omni where we continued to enjoy the laughs, share great conversations, and build valuable friendships.

“What time is it,” someone asked.

“3,” someone else shouted.

Nope, it was 4. We lost an hour, but not the night!

Thank you Gary Vaynerchuk for being you. And, thank you to all my new and longtime friends for making last night one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time.

For more on the evening, read the fantastic post by Caroline McCarthy of CNET.

If you want to read about how awesome Gary truly is, you must read this.

Connect with me on Twitter, Jaiku, LinkedIn, Pownce, Plaxo, FriendFeed or Facebook.

More pictures from the night…

Julia Allison

Chris Brogan

Poking Nick O’Neill of Allfacebook.com

Kristen Nicole of Mashable

Julia Allison and Pete Cashmore of Mashable

Gary Vaynerchuk, SomewhatFrank, Frank Gruger, and Nate Westheimer of BricaBox

Gaia Borgias Brown

Charlene Li of Forrester Research

More pictures at my album on .


    no imageDale Cruse (Who am I?)11 March 2008 12:57 pm

    Thanks for writing about this, Brian. I blogged about it and linked to you from my wine blog at: http://drinksareonme.net/?p=229

    The woman with the “Queen” banner is Laura Fitton of Pistachio Consulting.

    Rate this:
    no imageKristen Nicole (Who am I?)17 March 2008 3:56 pm

    This was definitely the best night of SXSW. We rocked OUT! Thanks Vaynerchuck! We luv ya!

    Rate this: