So this is South By Southwest Festival. From entering the city’s limits, driving past the few remnants of Austin’s Mexican history, you can wonder quite what all the fuss is about. Grabbing your pass is simple enough, save for the bothersome passport photo that gleams from your chest constantly after. Then as afternoon descends into evening, the festival finally takes shape.

In fact, imagine Edinburgh Festival with the street entertainment intact only every venue bleeds out a din of stray bass reverbs and tinny snares. With venues within stumbling distance of each other and 6th Street as the main throughway, all you need is a decent pair of trainers. Those streets are few but pleasingly filled with revellers eager for new sounds and new contacts. There lies the other fundamental aspect of SXSW which defines it from the rest, the connectivity. Interaction is key and you only need to look down to notice the business cards lining the streets like confetti. Yet the one card that really matters dangles from necks as contact details can be taken via a scan of the passes’ barcode using a smartphone. It is alarmingly simple and can even be done without the new social networking victim noticing.

Despite the temperatures hitting the early 20s, the festival is also at the forefront of facial fuzz. Perhaps I missed the memo but the boys appear to have started the refined tramp look aficionado society with beards of all shapes and sizes on display. Though adding contacts and trimming may be down on many an agenda today; walk the streets and the event reveals itself as St Patrick’s Day. Green is the colour and woe betide anyone who forgot, including your trusty scribe. Not that punishment ensues, the experience is akin to arriving at a fancy dress party without a costume with near enough every bar advertising the day’s frivolities yet there are few freebies to be had. Apart from at Friends, where the evening was dedicated to all things Eire from The Coronas to General Fiasco, there wasn’t exactly a plethora of Irish acts to see either.

Even at Latitude 30. This particular bar is headquarters for the British Music Embassy and the South London-based Chew Lips excel in Trans-Atlantic relations with the sort of minimal dance-pop that is surely making waves across The Atlantic. For a mere trio, the sound was nigh on battering yet aesthetically the group are onto a winner with frontgirl Tigs demanding attention with her yearning vocals and irresistible moves.

From there on it remains best to let the night carry you away, in this case a series of backstreet bars and dubiously coloured beverages. Away from the green giddiness, musical delights can be discovered off the beaten track, better known as 6th Street. The Ale House to be precise and Polly Mackey and The Pleasure Principle delivering an impressive set into the early hours. Theirs is a discernible, epic sound fronted by Mackey hidden behind a swathe of dark brown hair and conspicuous by a hearty, full blooded vocal delivery. Whilst the tracks themselves glean of a thoughtful, dramatic touch it’s Mackey herself who mainly took the plaudits.

For those with sense, it is best to retire to bed; there remains three more days of action.