Previewing Interact 2019: Legal Tech Goes Honky-Tonkin’, Austin Style!
Anyone who’s attended our Interact conference for Mitratech’s community of legal tech users knows it’s wall-to-wall with insight and information…and it’s a time for after-hours fun, too. This year, we’re continuing that tradition by celebrating Austin’s status as the Live Music Capital of the World.
How do we know that’s true? First, you can see we’ve got this very modest mural to prove it. But more to the point, Austin is home to about as many kinds of live music venues as there are tonsil-burnin’ concoctions on hand at the Austin Hot Sauce Festival.
Just one example? Austin is rife with honky-tonks. For anyone who’s not down with the slanguage of country music, here’s what Wikipedia tells us:
A honky-tonk (also called honkatonk, honkey-tonk, or tonk) is both a bar that provides country music for the entertainment of its patrons and the style of music played in such establishments.
There are at least three or four classic honky-tonks in Austin that jump to mind, though there are plenty to enjoy. Donn’s Depot, for instance, housed in an old Missouri-Pacific train depot; the seating areas are actual train cars. The ladies’ room? It’s a (pardon the expression) caboose. The Little Longhorn Saloon is home to great music, good beer at good prices, and Chicken %@#& Bingo, probably the most unlikely (or appalling, depending on how you look at it) 25-year tradition in the history of local entertainment. And, of course, there’s the Broken Spoke, around since 1964, billing itself as the “last of the true Texas dance halls.” It’s the place alle has played, from Bob Willis to the Dixie Chicks.
Spots to satisfy every taste in music
If you’re a jazz afficianado, Austin has some of the best spots to drop in on you’ll find anywhere, whether it’s the dark bebop ambience of a joint like the Skylark Lounge or the weekly big-band swing dancing bashes held at the University of Texas by the Austin Swing Syndicate.
To get scratch that rock-and-roll or blues itch, Austin excells, of course. The Continental Club has been around in various guises since 1955, and in its latter-day revival has hosted performers such as Junior Brown, Robert Plant, Alejandro Escovedo, Wanda Jackson, Toni Price, James Burton, Dale Watson, James McMurtry and more. Antone’s Night Club has seen it all in its 40+ years, with names like Fats Domino, John Lee Hooker, Delbert McClinton, Muddy Waters, Albert Collins, Jimmy Reed, B.B. King appearing on its stage. The Hole in the Wall over by UT has been the launchpad, since 1974, for acts like Spoon, Fastball, The Gourds, Shakey Graves, Black Joe Lewis, and Gary Clark Jr.
Musicans (and music lovers) love Austin
One gentleman who knows his way around a honky-tonk or two? The music legend who’s the inspiration for much of our after-hours entertainment this year, Mr. Willie Nelson. What’s he famously got to say about Austin?
“There’s a freedom you begin to feel the closer you get to Austin, Texas.”
Another musician who’s been been known to recognize where to have a good time also digs Austin…a Brit by the name of Keith Richards:
“I like it here in Austin. Anybody got a room?”
Gary Clark, Jr., has his own say on what makes the city’s music scene so special:
“There’s so much music in Austin, and it’s all so different.”
Austin’s stature as a hub for all kinds of music, not just C&W, is why the Austin City Limits Music Festival is such a marquee event every October.
This year’s lineup features Childish Gambino, Thom Yorke, Billie Elish, Cardi B, Mumford & Sons and several dozen more stellar musicians. In other words, it’s not much different from a typical weekend in Austin.
Fun fact? In 1975, the pilot episode of PBS’ Austin City Limits featured an already much-traveled songwriter and performer by the name of…Willie Nelson.
Legal tech goes on tour – in music star style
There’s no better way to celebrate the spirit of the Austin music scene than by giving Interact 2019 attendees a taste of it that starts the second they step on the bus – the tour bus, that is.
We’ll be using the “Me and Paul” Vintage Party Bus co-designed by none other than the Red-Headed Stranger himself (that’s Willie, in case you’re puzzled) to take Legal Ops/legal tech professionals on a Wednesday “Night On The Town” ramble that’ll stop at some of the hottest spots in town, with a rock-and-roll exclamation point on the end as everyone winds up at Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar.
Finally, as a closing note (see what we did there?) to the conference, on Thursday evening attendees will be able to enjoy our aptly-themed Dinner & Closing Party: Live Music Capital of the World. They’ll be encouraged to bring their inner music star to life by showing up in costume, and see the presentation of this year’s RockStar Award. Here’s how that went down last year…
So as a celebration of a unique music scene, and of the legal tech user community that’s revolutionizing Legal Ops, Interact 2019 will be the newest in a string of truly great conferences, both during the day and long into the nights.
Based on how commited people have been to having fun at past Interacts, there’s been a high bar set for this year’s attendees. We’re confident, though, that together we’ll make it another year nobody will forget.