The Hipster Revival of the Airstream

The Hipster Revival of the Airstream

Airstream Resurgence

Airstreams are arguably the most iconic example of American-made recreational vehicles. Though the brand has been around since the early 1930s, it’s seen a huge resurgence in popularity in more recent years. While already well-known among older generations who grew up vacationing in Airstreams, many argue that the recent resurgence lies with the younger, “hipster” generation who appreciates the retro style. These silver bullets have become an emblem for what’s cool and trendy, and to keep up with consumer demand, production is the highest it’s been since the 1970s.

Airstreams in Austin

Nowhere is that resurgence and demand more palpable than right here in Austin, TX with the food truck industry. I distinctly remember the first time I saw an Airstream food trailer and thought, “Whoa, that’s pretty cool looking”. Still an undergrad at UT, I was walking on one of the side streets of campus and noticed a giant cupcake perched on top of a silver trailer with “Hey, Cupcake!” emblazoned on the side. One of the forerunners of the Austin’s food trailer obsession, Hey, Cupcake! founder Wes Hurt started his business in 2007 out of a single Airstream trailer. Now he has a brick-and-mortar store-front and 4 Airstreams parked at different eateries throughout the city.

Hey, Cupcake, one of the frontrunners of Austin's food truck craze, serves up some delicious sweet treats
Hey, Cupcake, one of the frontrunners of Austin’s food truck craze, serves up some delicious sweet treats

Thanks to trendsetters like Hey, Cupcake, Austin now has hundreds of food trucks and several food trailer eateries. These mobile food courts allow customers to pick whatever food truck tickles their fancy and eat with the rest of their group at communal picnic tables. The movement has taken off across the country, as people mobilize their wares and services via Airstreams. In addition to food trailers, Airstreams have been transformed into hotel rooms, shops, mobile studios, convention booths, and cocktail lounges, among other things.

DJ with an Airstream

Not only did we love the Airstream look and trendy vibe, we loved the convenience it gave for transporting all of our sound equipment from venue to venue. We originally operated out of our old, beat-up mid-size cars from college. It was always a giant jigsaw puzzle trying to get everything packed into our cars. As the business took off and we did more and more events and acquired more equipment, traveling from event to event with everything in one tiny car just wasn’t feasible. We finally had cash flow invest in a cool rig, and one night when we were feasting on some Ms. P’s chicken at their trailer on S. Congress, we got the idea of buying an Airstream.

While gorging ourselves on some of Austin's best fried chicken, we decided to get an Airstream of our own. Photo courtesy Ms. P's.
While gorging ourselves on some of Austin’s best fried chicken, we decided to get an Airstream of our own. Photo courtesy Ms. P’s.

We searched Airstream for sale Texas, and happened upon a great dealership in Fort Worth. We scooped up a gently used Airstream Sport 22FB, one of the smaller models, and worked with a company to have it fitted for a sound table and concession window. At events, we unpack the speakers from the trailer and prop up the concession window so guests can request songs. The trailers have given us the capacity to expand our offerings to include lights, dance floors, and more.

Our latest Airstream acquisition, this vintage beauty is ready to roll to your next party!
Our latest Airstream acquisition, this vintage beauty is ready to roll to your next party!

The original Airstream was such a hit with our clients that we ended up purchasing two more. We’ve done some awesome parties and weddings catered by food trucks recently. Guests loved seeing all of the Airstreams, including ours, lined up to serve them whatever they desired, including delicious music.

 

Top 9 Ideas to Make Your Party a Huge Success

Top 9 Ideas to Make Your Party a Huge Success

Whether you’re planning a wedding or a corporate shindig, these are our tips for making your party a smashing success based upon our years of DJing at events!:

1. Let Guests Contribute the Playlist

For a recent wedding gig, the bride included a line on guests’ RSVP cards where they could indicate song requests for the reception. Brilliant. Not only did it take forming a playlist off of the bride’s to-do list, but it made guests feel like they were an important part of the event, which led to one of the boisterous receptions we’ve ever seen.

2. #Hashtag It

We asked friends at a local digital marketing firm for their take on using social media for special events. Since most guests will undoubtedly check their social accounts at some point in the evening, Moonraker suggests turning all that phone scrolling into an opportunity. Rather than getting upset that guests are distracted by their phones, prominently display a hashtag unique to your event, so that guests can share their own candid shots from the night. You’ll end up with some great pictures that the photographer didn’t even capture.

3. Flip-flops

Flips flops make for happy feet and lots more dancing.
Flips flops make for happy feet and lots more dancing.

Why women still teeter around on stilts for all special occasions is curious. Though they might complete the outfit, they’re massively uncomfortable, and after a few hours they’ll make your feet throb. Thank you to whoever came up with the genius idea to hand out flip flips at weddings and other events. People seem to have loads more fun when they aren’t thinking about how much their feet hurt, and it’s more tasteful looking than just going barefoot.

4. Photo Booth

The photo booth has been trendy for a long time, and we love the zany props and loads of laughter local vendor Say Cheese brings to the party. People love pictures of themselves, especially when taken from the shelter of a photo booth, where they are free to make the craziest faces and dumbest poses. At a wedding reception, the photo booth not only provides guests with a momento from your big day, but can double as a guest book as guests paste pictures of themselves in an album.

5. Thoughtful Seating

Most people don’t appreciate getting seated with a table full of strangers at an event. If you’re doing assigned seating, make sure you thoughtfully seat friends and acquaintances together. Increased comradery from well-planned seating will likely result in more momentum to get people up and dancing.

6. The Late Night Munchies

To cure those late night munchies, arrange for a food truck like the Peached Tortilla to deliver a tasty treat for your guests. Photo credit Hope Farmers Market
To cure those late night munchies, arrange for a food truck like the Peached Tortilla to deliver a tasty treat for your guests. Photo credit Hope Farmers Market

Even if you’ve served your guests loads of food already, they’ll likely be down for another late night snack after burning all those calories scooting around the dance floor. Even cooler is a late night snack delivered via food truck. Our favorite Austin vendors to cure the munchies are Peached Tortilla, P.Terry’s Burger Stand, and Amy’s Ice Cream.

7. Don’t Waste Your Money on Favors

Favors are one of those last minute things that always causes the bride stress, because they have to come up with something really cool, but cheap, as they near the end of their wedding budget. Most guests are happy with great food, free booze, and the opportunity to celebrate with you, so don’t feel like you have to go out and drop money on favors. As DJs, we are always there with the clean-up crew and can’t tell you how many favors get forgotten or discarded while still at the venue. Not worth the money! Use it towards something else instead, like the late night munchies or the photo booth.

8. Food Stations

While plated dinners scream refined and elegant, guests really love food stations. Having a variety of food options for your guests makes the dining experience more adventurous and laid back. Even better, arrange to have several food trucks assembled to offer the best of local cuisine to your guests for a refreshingly unfussy spin on traditional event food.

9. Arrange Sober Rides Home

If you're serving adult beverages at your event, consider gifting guests with discount codes or vouchers for Lyft or Uber to make sure everyone gets home safely
If you’re serving adult beverages at your event, consider gifting guests with discount codes or vouchers for Lyft or Uber to make sure everyone gets home safely

Nothing cries party foul like drunk driving. To get all of your guests home safely, and reduce your liability as the host, consider giving out Uber or Lyft coupons to your guests. Or, if several of the guests are staying at one hotel, you could rent out a bus to shuttle them safely to their accommodations. Letting your guests know ahead of time that they don’t have to drive sets a different mood for the party and keeps everyone safe.

 

5 Best Venues in Central Texas for Weddings

5 Best Venues in Central Texas for Weddings

To us, a great wedding reception means lots of dancing and laughter as you celebrate tying the knot with all of your closest family and friends. Fueled with drinks (drink responsibly and please take an Uber), amplified with the right music, and placed in the right setting, your reception will be a night that everyone remembers. Here are our 5 favorite venues in central Texas for a party you’ll never forget:

1. Camp Lucy

Located in Dripping Springs, about 20-30 minutes from Austin, Camp Lucy is a sprawling venue that displays the Texas Hill Country at its best and even has on-site accommodations for guests. With 3 different sites to choose from (don’t expect to the have the place to yourself), Camp Lucy can handle everything from an intimate ceremony to a huge celebration with hundreds of people. We recently had the chance to DJ a wedding here at the Sacred Oaks location. The couple happened to pick a balmy day in February, with highs in the upper 70s, so they decided to have the whole shindig outside. They tented the Great Lawn to give it a cozier atmosphere and we set up the Airstream just on the edge of the grass. Guests young and old seemed to have a blast, as everyone danced long into the night.

2. Salt Lick BBQ

This iconic BBQ joint has expanded in more recent years to include a winery, tasting room, and two notable wedding venues. Perched on the hill overlooking the vineyard with sweeping sunset views, sits the limestone hewn Thurman’s mansion, perfect for small to mid-size weddings. Our favorite place for a wedding, though, is the more removed Pecan Grove, nestled beside Onion Creek. Picture a romantic first dance under string lights draped through the canopy of pecan trees followed by a night of dancing underneath the stars. Guests will love you for the laid back vibe and the delicious catering from the smoke pit next door.

We will happily accept payment in the form of smoked brisket. Photo credit Salt Lick BBQ
We will happily accept payment in the form of smoked brisket. Photo credit Salt Lick BBQ

3. Allan House

This surprising gem is tucked among a bevy of old houses turned legal and accounting offices just north of downtown, but south of campus. The Allan House, an historic home turned wedding venue, books up quickly for small-sized weddings with bookings usually taking place a year in advance. The most magical wedding we’ve ever done here was a winter wedding. During the off months, when Austin has wildly variable temperature and weather swings, Allan house tents off the outdoor courtyard to protect guests. The tastefully chosen clear tent is bedecked in thousands of tiny little white lights. Tree branches which protrude into openings in the tent are similarly adorned, resulting in a stunning and absolutely romantic atmosphere. The tent gives any affair an intimate feel, where people feel safe to get up and dance and have a great time.

The winter tent at the Allan House is spectacular as darkness falls and thousands of lights twinkle. Photo credit Mint Photography.
The winter tent at the Allan House is spectacular as darkness falls and thousands of lights twinkle. Photo credit Mint Photography.

4. Mercury Hall

Just south of downtown, removed from the noise and chaos of city traffic, sits Mercury Hall. The house, which sits on this 4-acre parcel of land is simple yet refined, a white-washed farmhouse with colorful stained glass windows. While the indoor space is lovely, if you get married on one of Austin’s many sunny days, we’d recommend holding the reception in the generously sized courtyard just behind the hall. This beautiful space is bedecked with string lights and encircled by live oaks, that invite guests to gather around and spend the evening talking, laughing, and dancing together as they celebrate your big day.

5. Brazos Hall

While some of the other venues we mentioned go for more of a laid back Texas Hill Country vibe, Brazos Hall is distinctly different. This relatively new space sits in the shadow of the Frost Tower at the intersection of 4th and Brazos, right in the heart of downtown. An urbanite’s dream, this venue is modern and clean – perhaps you would call it rustic industrial. While the open concept first floor is great for an indoor fete, the 2nd floor patio is where the party is. With views of downtown, your guests might feel like they are in the VIP section of a new, exclusive nightclub. The venue is proximate to 6th street, so guests can continue the after-party long after the bride and groom depart. An ample selection of hotels within walking distance makes accommodations convenient.

There are so many lovely places to get married in Central Texas that we could go on writing for days. Once you’ve picked the perfect venue, don’t forget to reserve us for your event!

Have DJ Will Travel

Have DJ Will Travel

Based out of Austin, we are a full-service DJ company ready to make your next event come to life. With humble beginnings as a two-man operation run from the back of an old beat-up Volvo, we now have eight seasoned DJs ready to spin tunes at your next party. All of our DJs have a passion for music and a passion for making our clients happy. Whether you need mellow music for an elegant dinner party or a pounding beat to get everyone dancing at your wedding reception, we can work with you to customize a package and pick music to set the right mood.

With a 200-mile travel radius from Austin, we can accommodate all events in the Texas Hill Country, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and everywhere in between. We have a fleet of 3 fully rigged Airstream trailers we transport to outdoor and out-of-town events for a truly unique music experience that your guests won’t soon forget.

Check out our prices page for more information on our customized party packages and get your party started!