SXSW 2018 kicks off this week, as individuals from all across the globe have gathered in Austin, Texas to celebrate all things music, film, and art. A slew of artists and revolutionaries will in turn be showcasing new material, whether it be musicians debuting previously-unreleased tunes, filmmakers premiering their latest pictures, or other creatives introducing what they’ve been slaving over in recent months.
And while the festival is no doubt a time to show appreciation for various types of art and invention, it’s also a place to — well — party your ass off.
Over the years there has been no shortage of insane moments at SXSW, leaving us exclaiming, “did that really just happen?” Here, we’re highlighting just that, remembering the wildest things that have ever taken place at the Texas festival. From Lady Gaga getting puked on while riding a mechanical bull, to Tyler, the Creator and Odd Future inciting a riot, and even a hot robot taking the event by storm, see below for a reminder on just how loose SXSW can get.
1. Bill Murray transforms into part-time bartender
After ripping tequila shots at a local bar, Bill Murray decided to go check out some musical acts at 2010’s SXSW. Upon returning to said establishment, the actor proceeded to bartend for those in attendance. Oh, and he also brought RZA and GZA along with him.
2. Drake shows up for a surprise headlining set
2016 saw Drake pop up for a surprise set at Fader Fort’s OVO Sound showcase. For his headlining performance, Drizzy unleashed such hits as “Energy,” “Jumpman,” “Big Rings,” “Know Yourself,” “Back To Back,” and “Summer Sixteen.” He also took the opportunity to announce an upcoming U.S. tour, following the much-anticipated release of Views.
3. Hot Robot becomes a celebrity
As with every year, SXSW 2016 had no shortage of famous attendees. This time, however, the newest celebrity face was Sophia, a female humanoid robot. Exhibited by Hanson Robotics, the “hot robot” was designed to make interactions with humans more normal, although as you can see in the video above, she’s pretty much just a rude ass robot with a sly grin.
4. JAY-Z and Kanye West perform ‘Watch the Throne’ for 3,000 fans
Following the success of Watch the Throne, JAY-Z and Kanye came together on-stage for a crowd of 3,000 screaming fans at SXSW in 2014. While atop 12-foot-tall cubes, the rap tandem unleashed multiple hits from their collaborative 2011 album as attendees expectantly went nuts.
5. Johnny Cash delivers a musical keynote
In case you didn’t know, SXSW has been around since 1987, meaning the festival has long since welcomed appearances by a number of older, more iconic figures, even some who have gone on to pass away. In 1994, Johnny Cash showed up to deliver a musical keynote speech that would further put SXSW on the map. There, the legendary musician blessed attendees with colorful stories as well as a number of songs.
6. Lady Gaga gets puked on while riding a mechanical bull
Lady Gaga’s first-ever SXSW performance was one for the books. In addition to being roasted like a rotisserie chicken in 2014, the outlandish entertainer performed while riding a mechanical bull and being puked on (voluntarily) by performance artist Millie Brown. At this point, though, is it really that much of a surprise?
7. Lil Wayne calls out Birdman over legal issues and ‘Tha Carter V’ delay
Tension between Lil Wayne and Birdman had been building for some time leading up to Weezy’s performance at last year’s Live at the BBQ show by Mass Appeal. In reference to his legal battle with Baby and Cash Money Records, as well as Tha Carter V delay, Weezy proclaimed, “In all honesty, I know y’all do know I am going through some bullsh-t with my motherf–kin’ career. N—as tryna steer my career without letting me do or say a damn thing. But it’s moments like this that make that bullsh-t this big to me.”
He went on to add, “If you think that I am stressin’ or lettin’ this sh-t, get to me, please remember,” he continued, “there’s too much good p—y and too many great motherf–kin’ loyal fans to worry about bullsh-t a– Birdman.”
Wayne appropriately followed the comments by performing “No Worries.”
8. Rapper DaBaby walks around in a diaper
Charlotte rapper DaBaby was seemingly looking to make a name for himself at SXSW last year, wandering around in a giant baby diaper. DaBaby was followed throughout the festival grounds by his entourage who were carrying signs of a smiling baby draped in gold chains, all while the rapper chanted his name.
9. The cast of ‘Workaholics’ performs as gangster rap group “The Wizards”
SXSW 2012 saw Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine, and Anders Holm of Comedy Central’s Workaholics take over their House Party showcase by performing as gangster rap group “The Wizards.” Joined by director Kyle Newacheck, the quartet handed out free beer and prizes, all while reciting their risqué lyrics.
10. The Flaming Lips parking lot experiment
The Flaming Lips’ parking lot experiment began in the garage of an Oklahoma City mall in 1996. The following year, Wayne Coyne and company brought the experience to SXSW, divvying out cassette tapes to attendees, then insisting they play them in their cars simultaneously. This type of performance went on to become a staple of the band’s concert style.
11. Tyler, the Creator breaks some kid’s nose and gets hit in the face with a Mountain Dew bottle
Odd Future certainly has no shortage of memorable moments at SXSW. 2011 was one standout year in particular, as Tyler, the Creator jumped off of a speaker while performing, only to break some kid’s nose along the way. The guy reportedly took it like a champ and wasn’t upset in the slightest.
This is also the same year that Tyler got pegged in the face with a bottle of Mountain Dew, topped only by…
12. Tyler, the Creator gets arrested for starting a riot
It really shouldn’t come as a surprise that Tyler is featured multiple times on this list. Following 2011’s mayhem, the Odd Future frontman was arrested in 2014 for inciting a riot at Converse and Thrasher’s Death Match showcase. According to Austin police, Tyler “encouraged behavior causing an immediate danger and injury to persons.” His bail was set at $25,000 USD, and he was charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
Now, be sure to check out the top 10 wildest Tyler, the Creator lyrics.
- Main / Featured Image: Roger Kisby / Getty Images