AUSTIN — Last year marked a significant shift for the X Games, ESPN’s flagship weekend for action sports. Saying goodbye to their former Los Angeles stomping grounds, the event set its sights on Austin and took up residence at the Circuit of the Americas. I only got to hang around for one day last year, taking in a bit of BMX and off-road truck competition. This time, however, I was there for the whole thing, from the opening press conference to The Glitch Mob’s closing set at the Austin 360 amphitheater. It was an absolutely overwhelming weekend, and I’d be lying if I said that people-watching wasn’t a significant portion of the fun.
So, if you find yourself wondering what kind of people brave the brutal Texas heat to see the mecca of big air, here’s a comprehensive guide to the people you’ll encounter at the X Games.
With so much music in the atmosphere, it’s not surprising that a lot of dancing was going on. This demo from a youth breakdancing class turned a lot of heads, but I think my favorite dance-related memory came a bit later in the day. After all the sporting events had wrapped up, I headed for the amphitheater to catch Deltron 3030’s set. About halfway through, some guy to the side of me drops his backpack on the ground, throws his half-finished beer in the air, and starts pop-locking all by himself. Here’s the thing about dancing like nobody’s watching, though… eventually, people want to join in.
Only at the X Games, people.
Let’s just make peace with it now: DIY streaming services like Periscope will be significant fixtures in our lives from here on out. This was the first X Games with Periscope presence, and a lot of the streaming was officially done by ESPN personnel. Do you want to ride along with Bucky Lasek as he leaves the skateboard vert ramp and heads to the rally car pits? They’ve got you covered! A fair amount of fans were getting in on the action, as well, and the phones and tablets will probably be out in even greater numbers next year. Let’s hope you’ve got a serious data plan lined up.