Music Festivals

SXSW Travelogue: Kalyn Heffernan of Wheelchair Sports Camp checks in from Austin

Wednesday March 16, 8 p.m. Kalyn here from Wheelchair Sports Camp writing about our very first trip to South by Southwest in Austin, Texas! Sitting here in the back of my van while the girlfriend drives us to Austin from the town of Denton, where we played two nights ago. The trip has already been nuts after our great going away show at the Oriental late Saturday night.

We left Sunday morning, with only a couple hours of sleep, to play Albuquerque with the ever so strange and famous B.Dolan that night. It was my first time meeting B.Dolan offstage, and instantly, I knew we found ourselves a new friend very near and dear to our heart! B.Dolan is the man and shame on any of you (including myself) who missed his show in Denver last week at the Summit Music Hall. Anyways, we pulled into the cute and tiny town of Denton, Texas, the next night again with our buddy B. and played such a fantastic show! The venue was great, and the love we received was more than any of us could have asked for.

Unfortunately, after the show, the town turned on us when a roommate of the kind fellow who offered to host us called the cops reporting that a group of us were graffiti'n in the area. Drummer man Isaac's car was dragging a trailer full of our instruments and equipment when he was pulled over with three others from our traveling group. Sexy saxist Abi and Isaac were arrested for possession of marijuana, while our friend Kegan was arrested for graffiti, without hesitation. DJ B*Money was the only person to be let go from that group.

Meanwhile, I drove back to follow Isaac's towed-away car, in hopes of locating the tow yard and to figure out what it would take to get it back when we were also pulled over. My van was searched. James was arrested for graffiti and possession of marijuana, while girlfriend Jennah was arrested for the smallest amount of THC residue in a pouch and the next day, was called back to jail for a graffiti warrant.

Luckily, I was only charged with a citation for drug paraphernalia, and the Photo Roadies were tucked away in Dallas before there was even a chance to get them into trouble. Needless to say the term "Don't mess with Texas" is one to be taken with great seriousness. We already were aware of harsher restrictions on marijuana than our beloved hometown and any other illegal activity, but didn't realize we'd have to witness it first hand.

B. Dolan helped us out so much. He even stayed back from a San Marcos show he invited us to play just to make sure we had all our ducks in a row as we headed in the right direction to march to Austin. We are all forever grateful for the immense support and generosity he has shown us this trip and expect to make more magic together in the future.

Everyone's out now, though, and we are currently stuck in SXSW traffic, so hopefully we'll make it in by 9 p.m. to start our show frenzy! I'm already prepared to miss a lot of the things I want to do and see because of the great music overload we are throwing ourselves into! SXSW here we are and we're ready to show you how the Mile High City gets down!!!

Trying to catch tonight: Grieves & Budo @ Mohawk Patio Four Fists (P.O.S & Astronautalis) @ Flamingo Cantina Zion I & The Grouch @ Mohawk Patio Macklemore & Ryan Lews @ Mohawk Patio *DeVothchKa @ ACL Live at The moody Theater Bad Brains @ Emo's Main Room Binary Star @ Fuze Dessa @ Flamingo Cantina J-Live @ Fuze Raphael Saadiq @ Stubb's The Black Lips @ Emo's Main Room Artifacts @ Fuze Duran Duran @ Stubbs P.O.S. @ Flamingo Cantina DJ Premier @ Fuze Doomtree @ Flamingo Cantina w/ B.Dolan

Bummed to miss today: Ben Harper *The Knew Brett Dennen Blueprint

All week, various Denverites will be checking in from Austin with travelogues about their trip to SXSW this year. Read the various exploits of Brian Frederick, The Epilogues, A. Tom Collins, Danielle Ate the Sandwich, the Photo Atlas, Air Dubai, Take to the Oars and Wheelchair Sports Camp.

Follow Denver Backbeat on Facebook and Twitter