Jack White

Photo Credit: Chester Omenukor | Daily Texan Staff

A weekend at Austin City Limits Music Festival costs $250, but it only takes a $20 piece of equipment to ruin the experience.

A selfie stick is a monopod used for taking self-portraits, or selfies, with a smartphone or camera by extending the device beyond arm’s length. People use them everywhere, from historical sites to music festivals. Critics of the stick have dismissed the device as an obnoxious and potentially hazardous fad.

Attendees of music festivals have started using selfie sticks to record performances. This can block the views of others, and it breaks rules about recording concerts.

On March 30, Coachella and Lollapalooza, two major music festivals in the United States, announced a ban on selfie sticks in an effort to reduce the number of obstructions between fans and the stage. In the announcement, the festivals said the move could be an improvement in the overall experience for everyone involved in the event.

But are selfie sticks the root of the problem, or is it cell phones that actually ruin the experiences of fans?

Musicians have been “banning” cell phone use at concerts for years, expressing concerns that cell phones reduce the musicians’ performance quality. And data may backup that claim.

A study by T-Mobile shows that in 2012, 66 percent of concert attendees used the cameras on their phones to take pictures during the performance. Artists such as Prince, Beyoncé and She & Him try to reduce this percentage by placing restrictions on cell phone use.

Since 2012, rock musician Jack White has led the movement to prevent cell phone use at his concerts. He claims that the devices prevent him from using the energy of the crowd to determine his next song.

“People can’t clap anymore, because they’ve got a fucking texting thing in their hand,” White said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “Some musicians don’t care about this stuff, but I let the crowd tell me what to do. There’s no set list. … If they can’t give me that energy back, maybe I’m wasting my time.”

Recording concerts without permission has never been legal and was once preventable with simple bag checks. Cell phones with recording capabilities made recording concerts easier, and selfie sticks only complicate the issue. Festivals have attempted to combat the problem by filming the events and releasing the video to the public.

Geophysics freshman Logan Hashmi said he attended an Arctic Monkeys concert last semester where cell phones ruined part of the experience for him. Hashmi said devoting one’s full attention to the event would create a better experience than anything a video could recreate.

“It would make you actually watch the concert and let you enjoy the real-time view of the event rather than see it through a screen,” Hashmi said. “It would promote being in the moment.”

While Hashmi said he supports a complete ban of recording devices, electrical engineering sophomore Matthew Tan said the decision should be based on the venue size.

“It depends on the context,” Tan said. “I wouldn’t be averse to attending a concert where cell phones were banned, but I don’t understand the supposed harm they have.”

Tan said he sees no harm in taking a 10-second video or a quick picture, but recording an entire performance does reduce the experience.

Efforts to reduce cell phone use may be in vain, but, with the recent ban on selfie sticks, there will at least be fewer cell phones suspended in the air, blocking people’s view.

ACL 2014 Lineup Predictions

The official lineup for ACL is set to be released next Tuesday morning, so it’s time for the time-honored tradition of using exact science and probability to predict the lineup before it comes out. Using complicated formulas and hours of in-depth research, below with 99% accuracy is a breakdown of who to expect at the festival.

Outkast – The legendary rap group 20th anniversary reunion tour is stopping at major festivals around the world, and so far they have no Texas date listed. Since they’re not playing FPSF in Houston and are likely too big to play Fun Fun Fun Fest, the chances are that ACL will be the one chance Texans get to see them.

Probability: 95%

Jack White – He just headlined two years ago, but ACL has had no qualms of using repeat headliners lately. He has a new album on the way this summer and his summer tour hits Houston and Lubbock but skips Austin, which indicates that he’ll probably be back in October.

Probability: 90%

Beck – New album? Check. Popular ‘90s artist who is still relevant both critically & commercially? Check. Scheduled ACL taping with no other Austin date coming up? Check. Prior experience headlining ACL? Check. Beck will almost certainly play this year. 

Probability: 95%

Arcade Fire – It’s been three years since they headlined, and since then they’ve only gotten bigger. They did just play Austin last week, but they also played The Backyard in May in 2011 before they headlined. Austin loves Arcade Fire, and the feeling seems to be mutual. Not as much a lock as the others but still very likely.

Probability: 80%

Lorde – She sold out Austin Music Hall in March, is playing Lollapalooza (also run by C3), and is a pop star who topped the alternative rock charts. She may not be a headliner, but she’ll be there. 

Probability: 85%

Skrillex – He played ACL three years ago, and headlines both Coachella & Lollapalooza this year. While Calvin Harris or Zedd could possibly take this spot, chances are Skrillex will be ACL’s token electronic headliner this year.

Probability: 85%

The Replacements – I would have pegged them for Fun Fun Fun Fest, but there are a few rumors online indicating that they will make ACL their Texas stop instead. As a legendary ‘80s indie rock band, its not a bad fit for the festival. 

Probability: 70%

Foster The People – Still not sure who likes this band, but enough people for SXSW to book them at Butler Park this year. Along with Coachella & Lollapalooza, ACL will most likely be a stop for them.

Probability: 90%

Childish Gambino – See Above, but deduct points for ACL not being very rap friendly.

Probability: 80%  

The Avett Brothers – Here’s another ACL favorite that hasn’t played in two years, is playing Lollapalooza/Bonnaroo, and taps into the festival’s folk rock scene nicely. They’re also touring and playing dates in Texas/New Orleans but not Austin this spring as well. 

Probability: 80%

Disclosure – The brothers from England played a sold-out show at Stubb’s in January and have a large crossover appeal. This would be a good way for ACL to appeal to the electronic fans/youth while also drawing in fans who typically avoid EDM.

Probability: 70%

Broken Bells – Between The Shins & Broken Bells, James Mercer has played ACL twice already since 2010. The Broken Bells album came out earlier this year, and while they played SXSW, it would make sense for them to come back where more people can have a chance at seeing them. There's also the Lollapalooza connection.

Probability: 75%

Classic Rock Headliner – Full disclosure (pun intended), I have no idea who this will be. Every year ACL has a headliner or two whose glory days were the ‘70s or ‘80s, and this year is hard to predict. Elton John is playing Bonnaroo, but last year Paul McCartney played there and not ACL. Fleetwood Mac has touring conflicts, and Tom Petty may not be bold enough. Bruce Springsteen is a possibility for this slot as well, since he has a new album out and is touring Houston/New Orleans this fall but not Austin. If he played, it would be a big get. In a perfect world, Prince would have this slot, but sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world. If ACL gets Outkast & Arcade Fire, they will likely be the big draws of the festival, making the classic rock headliner not quite as large as in years past where it was Stevie Wonder or Neil Young. 

Best Guess – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Other probable acts: CHVRCHES, Chromeo, The 1975, Sleigh Bells, The Head & The Heart, Warpaint, Darkside, James Blake, Capital Cities,  Little Dragon, The Naked & Famous, Cage The Elephant, Gary Clark Jr., Sam Smith, First Aid Kit, White Denim

Longshots that would be cool: St. Vincent, Damon Albarn, Chance The Rapper, Janelle Monae, Lauryn Hill, Pharrell, Nas, Lana Del Rey

Who do you think will play ACL this year? Sound off in the comments below. 

Taylor Swift performs on stage at the 55th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision)

Photo Credit: AP Exchange | Daily Texan Staff

A live recap of what happened at Sunday night's Grammys. Here is everything you missed, and some things you really didn't. 

10:30 LL Cool J "does a lil' rapping" with Chuck D, T. Morello, Travis Barker, and Z Trip to close out the Grammys with what appears to be a big light show with some drums and maybe some rapping? There is a D.J. and a guitarist, but they aren't really doing any work. LL Cool J's slow and boring finale to the Grammys seems fitting after a night of musical performances that are barely more memorable than whatever LL Cool J is known for. The producers of the Grammys mix in ads with LL Cool J's performance just to mix things up.

10:15 According to Adele, people who win Album of the Year go on to worldwide success. Album of the Year for 2012 goes to Mumford and Sons for "Babel" beating out The Black Keyes, Fun., Frank Ocean, and Jack White. The sound cuts out for Mumford and Sons' speech because of cursing and too many compliments being given to Adele. The British are Coming!

10:11 Frank Ocean is wearing a sweat band to perform "Forrest Gump" with projected legs running beneath him. No one knows what is going on, but whatever it is, it looks really dumb. People run in the background, Ocean wears a yellow blazer and is obviously not running.  The twitterverse though, seems to be into this confusing, slow as Rihanna performance. Frank Ocean waddles away while whistling. And *scene*.

10:08  Elton John's "Your Song" is performed by Juanes to introduce Frank Ocean to perform. 

9:57 Now that we've remembered all of the musicians and Sandy Hook, we move into Elton John. He is wearing blue glasses and no one is surprised. T. Bone Burnet, Mavis Staples, the entire band of Mumford and Sons, and Brittany Howard. 

9:53 There is now a slideshow of artists who have died in the past year, and whose muscial tastes vary across every type of music imaginable. What is Justin doing? That's what we really want to know. But really all of these people were very talented, and we are sad. 

9:48 After a break, we return with a classical song tribute, and then Ryan Seacrest. But all of this is really just to bring on Justin Timberlake again. Everyone is happy, except for Jack White who seems distracted. Timberlake tries to claim the 2013 Grammys are the "Best Grammys Ever." No one cheers.

9:41: THE OSCAR FOR Record of the Year goes to "Somebody that I Used to Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra. Taylor Swift, who just lost, gives them a standing ovation. Gotye thanks Prince for inspiring him to make music "growing up." 

9:40 Prince, who those of us under 40 did not know was still around, arrives on the scene to announce Record of the Year

9:35: To no one's surprise, Hayes was only here to introduce now six time Grammy winner Carrie Underwood who looks like a silver prom queen. Her eyelashes touch her eyebrows, but boy does she have some vocal range. Her dress begins to project shiny florescent blue swirls, and the future has finally arrived. The swirls turn to sparkles and Underwood belts her dress into roses, pieces of gold, and what appear to be jellyfish. No one knows what she is singing because her dress is a butterfly.

9:33 Hunter Hayes, who looks like he tried to get his hair cut like Bieber and failed, joins us for a piano solo complete with early 2000 grunge band black eyeliner.  

9:26 Katy Perry looks like a teenage dream with her middle part. After making a cut at Bon Iver, Perry presents the award for Best New Artist to Fun. probably so we can all look at Lena Dunham again. Who knew that dancy pop songs could dominate so many categories! Power couple of the year goes to Dunham and her bf for winning Best Actress at the Golden Globes and Best New Artist respectively. 

9:20 The Lumineers yelling was more than worth it to get to JACK WHITE. White looks like he's been in the sun a little bit since his ACL Live appearance in October. He plays "Love Interruption." His duet partner tries to steal the show with her beauty and maple syrup voice. There are no dancers on this stage, only professional musicians. White transfers his skills to the guitar. He sings/headbangs "Freedom at 21." He is everything Rock and Roll can be. 

9:18 The Lumineers join us for a brief set. There is some yelling. I'm not sure what it's for, but I think it might be a hipster call.

9:11 BOB MARLEY. All the Marleys tributes dance and sing. Taylor Swift is shown dancing at least as much as the Marleys on stage. 

9:10 Rihanna is back again!? Ellen is dancing. Rihanna is at least a foot taller than Bruno Mars, but half as interesting. 

9:07 Bruno Mars has what seems like the most high-energy set of the night. He dances. His personality jumps past his dance moves and into the audience, and then all of a sudden STING is there. Adele, Neil Patrick Harris, Taylor Swift, Nicole Kidman are all shown lip synching (or really singing) along.

9:05 A tribute to Bob Marley begins with Bruno Mars

8:57 The award for Best Country Album goes to The Zach Brown Band for "Uncaged"

8:54 Kelly Clarkson comes to the stage still on her winning high and brings the vocal chords that made her an American Idol winner and a favorite belting song of every high school girl since "Miss Independent" was recorded. "You make me feel like a natural woman," Clarkson sings, and we all feel like one when she's on stage with her flowy locks. While she's on stage, she goes ahead with an award. 

8:50 Post commerical break, some b-list television star introduces the Black Keys to the stage. The full brass brand in the background complements the flashy lights in the background very well, but no one in this performance of "Lonely Boy" looks lonely. There seem to be 30 people on stage. 

8:40 Carley Rae Jepsen looks like a middle schooler with her straight across bangs. She and Ne-yo present the award for Best Rap Song Collaboration  to "No Church in the Wild" by Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Frank Ocean. Beyonce is shown hugging Jay-Z. 

8:36 Rihanna appears after being descibed as "one of the bigggest pop stars ever." She sings "Stay," and seems to really be suffering from the dress code as this is the opposite of any of Rihanna's very entertaining (though very risque) dance performances. We will grant her, however, that her voice is *almost* as good as Beyonce's. 

8:27 The award for Best Pop Vocal Album goes to "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson. Lena Dunham is shown looking very upset, but Clarkson hugs everyone and is the first genuinely happy looking winner. Clarkson makes a very funny joke about stories that should be told "after alcohol." Clarkson gives shout-outs to everyone in the audience and wins my heart forever. 

8:23 "Girl on Fire" and "Daylight" are performed by Alicia Keys and Maroon Five. Alicia Keys makes everyone forget that Maroon Five still exists by appearing in a semi-transparent dress, playing drums, and singing "Girl on Fire" live. She looks almost as good as her voice sounds. We might call this drumsynching. Keys comes close to breaking the "no breast" dress code of this year's Grammys.

8:20 Dave Grohl and some girl from NCIS appear on stage to announce awards that have been on the internet since this morning, thanking the producers, and presenting Best Rock Performance. The Black Keys win for "Lonely Boy." They are both wearing leather jackets and hold their Grammy like a football. They shout out to Akron, Ohio.

8:18 Justin Timberlake appears in two commercials during the break and snags his own hashtag: #JTGrammys

8:11 The first ever Best Urban Contemporary Album goes to Frank Ocean over Chris Brown's "Fortune" and Miguel's "Kaleidoscope Dream." Ocean tries to make a joke to open his acceptance speech and literally no one laughs. 

8:05 Justin Timberlake takes the stage in a bow tie. The video portrayed on CBS turns to a grainy sepia black & white for Timberlake's performance of "Black and White." Timberlake sings live while following choreography. The screen switches back to color for Timberlake to switch to the new "Pusher Girl" premiered last week in New Orleans.  Watching Timberlake work is watching a master: his vocal range is impeccable, his dance moves perfect, and his back up horns enticing.  

8:03 Everyone's two favorite people, Beyonce and Ellen Degeneres, appear together to introduce Justin Timberlake to the public. Ellen gets Beyonce to laugh while she is trying to talk. Beyonce demands that everyone stand for Justin's return to the stage. 

7:53 Johnny Depp appears looking like he came from a 70's birthday party. He introduces Mumford and Sons who are all wearing black. They play "I Will Wait," and dozens of screeches are heard from the audience. The lighting is golden like the sunshine that their native England rarely recieves, and the 2013 Grammys continue to lack any sort of excitement.

7:50 Faith Hill and Tim McGraw present the award for Song of the Year. It is awarded to "We Are Young" by Fun. Lena Dunham, media darling, is sitting right next to the band and appears to be the only one in the whole audience wearing color. 

The band says "I don't know what I was thinking writing the chorus for this song...we are not very young." Taylor Swift is shown applauding above her head. Fun. thanks their families for letting them live at home while they have been young. For the first time, the wrap it up music plays louder and louder. 

7:43 Best Country Solo Performance goes to Carrie Underwood for "Blown Away." Her hair is perfectly waved, and she thanks Country Music, the Lord, and "all of her amazing people" for her award and even manages to add a "golly" to her performance. 

7:40 The Grammys finally find a voice worth listening to in the R&B singer Miguel, but they make a mistake pairing him with rapper Wiz Khalifa andthe act does little more than segway to Carrie Underwood's award.

7:32 John Meyer appears in a blue velet suit. Miranda Lambert and Dirks Bentley play a slow song with a tree in the background. The slow, melodious Grammys comtinue.  

7:30 The band Fun. plays and gets doused in water. It is not that important. They play "Carry On" and continue to be a good-time party band.

7:28 The grammy for Best Solo Performance goes to Adele for "Set Fire to the Rain," a song that most of us have already forgotten about. She managed to best Kelly Clarkson with "Stronger" and the world-wide summer hit "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae-Jepsen

7:22 After a lengthy opening monologue from LL Cool J in which zero fun was had and no good jokes were made, the Grammys continues down its no-offense, no fun path with Ed Sheeran singing "The A Team". The momentum and fun of Taylor's pop dies int his set.  

7:05 Princess of pop and country alike Taylor Swift takes the stage. She sings her catchy "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" in true mad hatter style. Spinning top hat, surrealist swirls, and all. Never has Tay-Swift looked quite so normal. 

7:00 The Black Keys kick off the 2013 Grammys with rousing fast start to the album of the year race. The band has already been awarded the award for rock album for "El Camino" and rock song for "Lonely Boy"

Hard to believe, but Austin City Limits Music Festival turns 11 this weekend. Over the years, we’ve seen some ups and downs — the dust bowl, the mud bowl, the propane tank fire, Ben Kweller’s mysterious bloody nose — but the good times have easily outweighed the bad.

This year’s ACL lineup, featuring The Black Keys, Jack White, Neil Young and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is arguably the best in a few years. A caravan of additional world-class musical acts round out the weekend-long party. Here are the top 10 acts you don’t want to miss.

Friday
Delta Spirit, AMD stage, 2:15 p.m. — One of the top buzz bands over the last few years, San Diego quintet Delta Spirit expanded their sound on their self-titled third album. Catch some of their kind-of-country, kind-of-beachy, kind-of-Brooklyn-y sound.

Alabama Shakes, Barton Springs Stage, 5:30 p.m. — Grab a turkey leg and maybe a tallboy (if you’re willing to wait) and head over to the Barton Springs stage to catch one of the busiest and most talked about bands of 2012. The Athens, Ala. southern soul revivalists released their debut album Boys & Girls in April to widespread acclaim. Since then, they’ve been touring to sold-out concert halls across the globe.

Soul Rebels Brass Band, Zilker Stage, 6 p.m. – It’s always frustrating when two bands you want to see are booked for the same time slot; fortunately the Zilker stage is just a stone’s throw away from the Barton Springs stage. After catching the Alabama Shakes, head over to see New Orleans’ Soul Rebels Brass Band. Fusing elements of funk, jazz, soul, hip-hop and drumline, the band is a classic example of why the Big Easy remains one of the world’s greatest music cities.

Saturday
Metric, AMD Stage, 4 p.m. – Few bands have been more successful without the benefit of a label than Brooklyn-based indie-pop four piece Metric. “Help, I’m Alive” is one of the better indie-pop singles to come along in the last half-decade. It definitely has that radio-ready sound, but it also has a sinister edge and blow-the-speakers production reminiscent of MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular.

The Roots, Bud Light Stage, 6 p.m. — Hip-hop’s greatest live band returns to the ACL stage on break from their primary gig as the house band for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” The best band on television (apologies to Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band) has also been one of the most prolific, releasing fourteen studio albums since 1993.

Jack White, AMD Stage, 8 p.m. — What do you do when you have two can’t-miss shows happening at the same time on different stages? Good question. It’s bad enough that the folks at C3 Presents put Delta Spirit and The War on Drugs on at the same time, but double-billing Jack White and Neil Young is just downright criminal. Here is one of the greatest artists of our generation in the prime of his career, fresh on the heels of an excellent solo debut.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Bud Light Stage, 8 p.m. — Neil’s the man. Seriously, one of the greatest musicians ever. Definitely the greatest Canadian ever. Expect him and his legendary garage band Crazy Horse to blow the roof off of the Bud Light stage Saturday night.

Sunday
Gary Clark Jr. AMD Stage, 2:15 p.m. — In many ways, this may be the one show not to miss this weekend at ACL. Gary’s legend has simmered around Austin over the last 10 years, and later this month the supremely talented guitarist and soul singer’s major-label debut Blak and Blu hits shelves nationwide. The buzz is already palpable, and Gary certainly has the chops to match the ever-mounting hype. This could be one of the very last chances to say you “saw him when ...”

Iggy & the Stooges Bud Light Stage 6:15 p.m. — Old and haggard as they might appear, it’s just not every day that you get a chance to see a band as legendary as the Stooges. Iggy and company were the true progenitors of punk rock, laying out a blueprint for the sound with Raw Power in the early ‘70s. Forty years later, they’re still as wild and unpredictable as when they first started.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers Bud Light Stage, 8:15 p.m. — One of the most convulsion-inducing and widely-appealing bands of our time, the Red Hot Chili Peppers blasted onto the national scene in the early ‘90s and never let go. Over the years they’ve experimented and developed their sound but never lost the original fan base that made them punk-funk heroes to begin with.

Printed on Friday, October 12, 2012 as: Top 10 acts to watch at weekend festival

Photo Credit: Jessica Lynn Duong | Daily Texan Staff

From former upholsterer to blues-rock virtuoso, the one and only Jack White has paved a successful road for himself. Having originally made history with two-piece rock group the White Stripes, White has since embarked on a solo journey with the long-anticipated Blunderbuss, released today.

For many of us, our introduction to Jack White’s raw and ferocious guitar playing was the White Stripes’ 2001 hit single, “Fell in Love with a Girl.” Now, White has moved on from his two-piece days, creating other blues-rock groups The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs, while making time for himself on this solo debut.

Single “Sixteen Saltines” could be the ballsier older brother to the White Stripes’ “Hardest Button to Button.” Staccato-heavy riffs clash between talk-box guitar melodies, an incredible sound that grows with intensity until the very end. “Who’s jealous?” repeats White frantically, the words searching for an answer within an arsenal of roaring cymbals and guitars. There’s a reason why “Sixteen Saltines” was one of the album’s singles. It’s an indicator of White’s never-ending creativity, providing listeners with screeching riffs that are sure to be imitated by blues-rock wannabes.

White can shift from in-your-face guitar madman to relaxed and composed crooner. Take “Love Interruption” for example: driven by a sinister acoustic guitar riff and vocal harmonies between White and his female accomplice Ruby Amanfu, the song is an ode to blues-folk love songs. “I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me, anymore.” It starts off as dispirited; lone lover White searching for happiness externally and realizing that the answer to his problems has been with him all along. Listeners will empathize with White because he’s showing so many sides. Anger, sadness and fear — you’re getting all of the White you can handle.

The songs are refreshing and reassuring, reminding listeners of why they fell in love with White in the first place. He’s still got a bag of lyrical and guitar tricks for even the most devoted White fan, keeping listeners in a comfort zone until the end of the album. This is where the artist shows that he’s comfortable in more genres than just blues. Jazz-tinged country songs “I Guess I Should Go to Sleep,” and “On and On and On” move with a fluid spaciness, the absolute opposite of what listeners were introduced to at the beginning of the album. But it works well, and White is fearless in unfamiliar territory. He allows the songs to just ride and crescendo before bringing in an assortment of explosive guitar licks.

Blunderbuss is a culmination of all White has done. It has traces from all of White’s musical efforts, which is why it could not easily be dubbed merely a Dead Weather album or a White Stripes album. White is confident in his experimentation, and although it may not be completely cohesive from beginning to end, it shows that the guitarist still has plenty of musical ideas to share.

Printed on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 as: White releases new solo work

Daily Texan File Photo

When it comes to South By Southwest, Twitter can become one of your greatest friends. From famous actors and actresses to big-shot rappers and rockstars, everyone who will be at SXSW will be talking about it through Twitter. Those who attended SXSW last year know the benefit of Twitter when Kanye West and Jay-Z performed a secret show at the Seaholm Power Plant. Along with West and Jay-Z's performance, attendees found out about Death From Above 1979's secret show and Jack White’s surprise visit to Austin through the social media outlet. Of course, Twitter is important for a few other things, and if you like special giveaways or receiving cool stuff, then it would be smart to get acquainted with tweeting culture before SXSW begins.

Find out about secret shows: There is always a mystique behind SXSW, and who may come to put on a guest performance. Although an artist may not announce a secret performance through Twitter, those who are promoting it may offer hints. Those willing to believe the rumblings may be blessed with seeing the rumors become a reality. “I found out about Jack White's performance through Twitter,” said 2011 UT alumna Jenny Kim. White, who played an impromptu concert during last year's SXSW, surprised everyone when he came rolling through in a yellow and black truck.

Find out about guest celebrity appearances: Along with guest performers, there is the possibility of guest celebrity appearances. Last year, comedian Aziz Ansari could be seen walking through downtown Austin, and there was that infamous scuffle with someone trying to photograph actor Jake Gyllenhaal at the premiere of his movie “Source Code.” Through the use of hashtags, Twitter users can go through a clutter of tweets immediately, finding the information they want in a timely manner.

Find out where free food and beer is available: “Instead of just searching for free food, you can look on Twitter for places that are offering it,” said biology junior Waytao Shing. From SouthByFreeNoms to SXSWFreeDrinks, these and other Twitter profiles are made to help you find a quick bite to eat or an alcoholic beverage to drink for absolutely free.

Find out about venues and stores offering free wristbands: Stumped because you can't get into a certain show or venue? Some venues and stores offer free wristbands to get into SXSW shows and showcases, announcing their giveaways through their Twitter accounts. Most recently, motorcycle store Woods Fun Center offered two free wristbands, announcing the contest through their Twitter account.

Article printed in Daily Texan Guide to SXSW as Follow That Bird.