Monday, January 21, 2019

Hack College’s Crash Gone Wrong

Posted by teibs On June - 27 - 2009
hackGuest post from Hack College’s Kelly Sutton, who crashed SXSWi by putting on a panel. I met Kelly the day after this crash takes place at a bar.

His ribs were still sore, but his recent stint in the hospital didn’t stop him from throwing a few drinks back that night. He’s a warrior. Kelly was kind enough to post my Top 5 Festival Crashing tips on his site, Without further ado, here’s Kelly:

While I pride myself in my amateur crashing abilities, there’s one crash gone wrong that sticks out in my mind. It’s also the one that required a trip to Austin’s Brackenridge Hospital the next morning. While getting past a bouncer is usually no problem, sometimes you need to bring out the big guns.
It was the last night of the legendary South by Southwest festival. Well, it was SXSW Interactive. I like to pretend it’s as cool as SXSW Music.
After having finished a panel earlier that day, all of my responsibilities for the week evaporated. I could stay out until the sun rose. I went to the Gingerman with friends, then hopped over to the Facebook party at Pangea. After spending a few minutes at the Facebook party, I decided to head back to Gingerman. The beers and company were better there.
That’s when I was confronted with the unthinkable: a line had developed outside Gingerman ensuring that I would be waiting at least 20 minutes before entering a bar I was just at. It’s not like I was trying to sneak into a U2 concert or something (where I can only assume security would be extra tight.)
Being Austin, most bars have a patio. Gingerman is no exception. The hacker in me identified the situation and I quickly decided hopping the fence in the back was the solution to my dilemma.
I walked out back and scanned the situation. No cops in the area. Check. No one was really around.
The fence looked to be about 8 feet tall and wooden. No footholds. Having 4 years of gymnastics under my belt, I figured this would be a cinch. I grabbed the top of the fence, hoisted myself up with ease, and rested for a minute. I was catching a few glances of fellow beer-drinkers on the patio.
I scoped out a landing and shifted my weight over the fence. Bad idea. The thin planks of the wooden fence buckled under my weight. The two I held to snapped. I had just enough time to deeply inhale as I began my descent. On my way down my ribcage slammed against a horizontal metal bar about 3 feed off the ground, easily knocking the wind out of me.
Pride crushed–and possibly a rib or two–I rose to a slow clap provided by everyone on the back patio. I quickly grabbed a beer and joined my friends.
The next morning, I awoke to difficulty breathing. Possibly a punctured lung. I went to Brackenridge to make sure I could make it home. Broken, not bruised. I guess I’ve got good enough bones to compensate for my delinquency.
What are the takeaways of this successfully painful crash? I’m not quite sure. Don’t go hopping fences? Maybe. Once you’re in, stay in? Definitely.
Notes from a professional Crasher: The lesson you haven’t yet learned from Festival Crashers is, “No grand entrances” as taught in Successful Crash #17. When what you do results in a slow clap, there’s a better move to be made. Regardless, you made it in and we’ll chalk it up as a Successful crash even though you ended up in the hospital.
Check out for all kinds of tips to make it through college like a boss.

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