My ears have nearly stopped ringing 48 hours after returning from my (semi-) annual pilgrimage to Austin for the SXSW festival. For those of you who don't know about SX, it's a big ol' party that started as a music festival in the late '80s under the guidance of the Austin Chronicle, the city's ass-kicking alt-weekly. Today, it's not just a music festival that draws thousands of young artists hoping for a big break. It's also a film festival, a comedy festival, a digital-frontier festival and, now, a gaming festival that—judging from the cosplay—was definitely attracting the comic-book nerds. In short, it's got a little something for everyone (except maybe the crafting community, though I would not be surprised to learn that Stitch By Stitchwest is on the horizon).
I went for the music, as did calendar editor Emily Dieckman and TW staff reporter Jeff Gardner. It was loud, crowded, exhausting and a ton of fun, although I'm sure there are SX veterans who will grumpily proclaim that the festival has been terrible for the last decade, or the last 20 years, or whatever. So it goes.
Elsewhere in this week's issue: Staff reporter Danyelle Khmara watched local students protest gun violence, on the one-month anniversary of Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, and caught up with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke as he rode a horse in Southern Arizona to investigate border security and pose for a photo op; arts writer Margaret Regan previews this weekend's Fort Lowell historic home tour benefiting the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation; theater critic Sherilyn Forrester hears ATC singing the blues in the latest production at the Temple of Music and Art; food writer Mark Whittaker discovers a local company that's growing great produce; film critic Bob Grimm is attracted to Love, Simon; Tucson Salvage columnist Brian Smith writes about local artist Ramon "Ray" Encinas, who is wrestling with more challenges than most of us, but maintains a positive outlook in the face of it all. Plus, we have the usual columns about how to have fun in this town: City Week, Quick Bites, Reel Indie, Nightcrawler and XOXO...
Just a reminder: Voting in the Tucson Weedly's 2018 Cannabis Bowl ends on April 1, so if you've got a favorite dispensary, strain, budtender or whatever, go online to TucsonWeekly.com and cast a vote!
Thanks for reading, and we'll see you next week!
— Jim Nintzel Executive Editor