Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Partyin with Perez - SXSW 08
So...I doubt there were many people at SXSW who were more excited about Perez Hilton's "One Night in Austin" party than I was. As a faithful reader of his gossip website, I knew that he was a fan of SX and of Austin, and I was eagerly anticipating meeting the "Queen of all Media" and maybe becoming best friends with him! Well...it didn't exactly go that way.
Let me just preface all this by saying that I feel like SXSW has become less and less about music and more and more about private parties put on by this or that company (usually having nothing to do with music), demanding that you RSVP (so that they have your email address now, duh) and then still waiting in line forever just to get into some empty warehouse that they've transformed into a temporary party palace with more advertising, MORE FREE DRINKS and more people standing around trying to look important!!! YAY!!! Oh, and sometimes there's decent music.
The Perez party was no exception. Even though my husband and I had RSVP'd as media (and my husband is legitimately media, he hosts a morning radio show in Austin) we were met with a long line and a cheesy guy parading as "security" asking if we had been "confimed." Um, no, we hadn't, but don't you know who we are dude? We are SO IMPORTANT, you better let us in! And this actually worked. We were escorted up to the front of the line and introduced to a PR person named Stacy. She let us in on the condition that my husband mention the sponsor of the party (Wrigley's 5 Gum) on his show on Monday and send her an aircheck. Yeah, sure, whatever. I just want to meet Perez!
So we get inside and it is PACKED. Not just crowded, but miserably so; the kind where you are constantly touching someone else and getting to the bar seems impossible. Somehow we managed to get some free drinks (mojitos, provided by some type of rum that I'm having trouble remembering. But Perez is Cuban, so I guess there was a theme...?) and walk out to the area outside that was a little less insane. A hair product company was also there and some hairdressers were giving people crazy hairdo's. We tried to talk them into giving my husband a haircut, but to no avail. We walked past the hair people and there was an area roped off, so of course we had to see what this was about.
The girl guarding the "oh so special area" just happened to be someone my husband knew from the radio station. She thought she was really awesome though and was like, "Sorry guys, can't let you in." When I told her that I just wanted to get a picture with Perez she goes "Oh yeah, I already got one with him, it was awwwsome!" Bitch! So when she wasn't looking, we walked past her. But we were quickly stopped by another cheesy security guy (and I say cheesy because they were all skinny and wearing light pink and blue t shirts emblazoned with Perez's party logo, so they looked super intimidating) but we just gave him the same story as the guy at the front door and he was like, "Oh! Ok, then you're fine. Have fun!"
SO, I bet you can guess, in the "special" area, it was more of the same. Free mojitos and people looking like they felt really important. At least it wasn't as crowded. And then...we saw him. Perez in all of his glory. I quickly handed my camera to my husband and moved in to ask for the photo op. I had to wait for him to finish talking to a really scary looking girl and then I got my chance.
"Perez! Can I get a picture?"
He looked nonplussed. "Yeah," he said flatly. He was wearing way more makeup than I was and had obviously visited the crazy hairdo people outside.
I tried to make him smile and want to be my best friend. "You look really hot," I cooed. But he just smiled for the camera and that was it. Picture taken, and he was gone.
UM, ok. Did Perez Hilton, famous in part for talking crap about celebrities for not being very nice to their fans, just blow me off??? I am a HUGE fan! And there's no way he could have known how much crap we had already given his "security" people, so what gives??? Well...let's just say we made up for it later.
Soon after the Perez encounter, yet another "security" guy noticed that we did not have some sort of blue wristband that we were apparently supposed to have to be in the "special" area. We argued with this guy for awhile, using the same argument that had been working so well before ("We're so important!") but this guy was not having it. But he was such a douche about it that we basically just refused to leave. So the douche returns to us with an even BIGGER douche, a guy who was wearing a white baseball hat with the bill FLIPPED UP, and this guy informed us that this was HIS party and that we better leave now. I told him I thought it was Perez's party, and the PR girl totally let us in here so he better leave us alone. This infuriated him and he accused me of threatening him. To make a long and probably not that interesting story shorter, we ended up leaving on our own accord, only to just waltz back in the back door and get another drink in the "special" area not even 5 minutes later.
We found some friends (who shall remain nameless) and hung out with them (very peacefully) for awhile, when douche #1 saw us again and immediately came back over and told us we'd better leave. At this point it was just a big joke to us. My husband pointed out that most of the people in the "special" area didn't have wristbands and why was he picking on us? Well, he called white baseball hat douche over again and it was like de ja vu. Except this time there were supposedly police on the way to kick us out. RIGHT. So again, we walked out on our own and had another good laugh. We contemplated going back in again but decided we wanted to go see some music.
Which brings me to this point...Perez was so excited about his music lineup, which included N.E.R.D., Robyn, Katy Perry and a bunch of other bands I have never really heard of or care about. We really didn't watch any of the music while we were there. I know that Perez prides himself on introducing new artists, but in a week where there is such saturation of no name bands, and not to mention the fact that perezhilton.com is a celebrity gossip website, I would think that his party would have been more exciting with some actual celebrity guests in attendance. The only "celebrity" I saw was Cisco Adler, who is famous for dating Mischa Barton and I think is technically a musician...?
So...to wrap this all up, I was disappointed. And I don't know if my disappointment has anything to do with it, but I haven't been to perezhilton.com since. Oh, and my husband didn't exactly have glowing things to say about Wrigley's 5 Gum on Monday morning...sorry Stacy. But you should have made sure we had the special blue wristbands.