Oklahoma Rocks SXSW
Working the Oklahoma booth at the SXSW trade show, the most frequently asked question was: "Why is Oklahoma here?" Oklahoma has a presence at the conference to answer that very question. If you don't already know, we want to let you know that Oklahoma is a seriously cool place. Our people are a creative force and guess what? They are energized. There is so much going on and so much more in the works. Need examples? Here are a few:
- Start-up accelerators: Venture Spur & Accelerate Genius
- Makerspaces: Fab Lab & Ohm Space
- DeadCenter Film Festival
- Norman New Music Festival
- Festival of the Arts
- Creativity Forum
Since 2011, Oklahoma had branded its SXSW presence under the moniker, The Buffalo Lounge. While the branding is delicious from a design perspective, it is the energy and experience that Oklahoma creates via The Buffalo Lounge that has folks mesmerized. For instance, I think we can all agree that tattooing yourself is probably the ultimate bodily expression of devotion. Well, the guy pictured above loved the Buffalo Lounge so much he decided to tattoo the signature ‘Buffalo” on his arm. The best part is that he isn’t even from Oklahoma! He came by our booth to let us know how much he—obviously—loved The Buffalo Lounge experience in 2012.
Aside from a colorful and swag-happy booth at the SXSW Trade Show, The Buffalo Lounge set up shop at The 512 on 6th street to host events that showcase Oklahoma Interactive, Music, and Film. This year, the Oklahoma Interactive party was centered around a 90-second pitch competition, where nine Oklahoma startups had a chance to give their best 90-second pitch in front of 100+ people in hopes of winning a cash prize of up to $5,000. The two runners up, each winning $2,500 were ICEdot and ReTenant, LLC. The grand prize winner taking home much glory, as well as $5,000, was SpectrumFX. The pitch competition was followed by “Rock Karaoke” where party attendees karaoked along side live 90s tribute band, “My So Called Band.” Other Buffalo Lounge events included an Oklahoma Film party and information panel, as well as musical showcases featuring dozens of Oklahoma bands and musical artists.
While we may be biased, the comments we received from SXSW attendees from the world over don’t lie, Oklahoma and its Buffalo Lounge blew away pretty much every other state that was represented at SXSW. Oklahoma at SXSW is unassumingly and genuinely impressive. This is not really surprising, however, because it is an extension of what goes on in our state every.single.day. At The Buffalo Lounge, just as in Oklahoma, you find professionals from all walks of life and industry coming together to collaborate, create, and grow our humble state. Oklahomans don’t operate in silos, we band together to make awesome things happen. We are a best kept secret, and from the looks of it, our secret is getting out.
For information about the Buffalo Lounge please check out the following: