Once you've taken three trains and a bus to get to La Guardia, the SXSW experience begins at the boarding gate. The Austin-bound seem to stick out a bit, often because they're carrying precious cargo.
I've never traveled with an instrument before but I hear plenty of horror stories from musicians who visit Soundcheck. Sure I'm carrying a lot of luggage and a laptop but that's nothing compared to carrying a guitar on which you've invested money, time and a little love.
The four members of the Brooklyn-based band Cause Co-Motion assure me that it's not that bad. You just have to lay claim to that little closet at the front of the plane and hope no one is bringing golf clubs to Austin.
But this is the band's first trip to Austin, and something tells me they won't be they only ones with guitars in soft cases and drums in those cylindrical barrel things.
When I asked where Cause Co-Motion was staying, smiles went all around. They have a place to stay ... tonight. After that, things might get a little creative. They'll stay busy, however, with seven shows in the next few days.