Austin’s Big Wanderlust Weekend
Recently we reported on the eclectic awesomeness that is Austin, Texas. This Southwestern city's reputation for quirky creativity and experimentation makes it a prime setting for all manner of adventurous partying, and thus an ideal destination should a wave of wanderlust well up in your world-weary heart. This weekend, no less than three unconventionally amazing MINI Countryman Wanderlust events took place in and around Austin.
A Drive, a Picnic, and a MINI Yarn-Bombing by Magda Sayeg
You may have noticed over the past few years how the dowdy connotations of knitting have been unraveling faster than a Grandma sweater snagged on a chain link fence. Urban hipsters click-clack away at asymmetrical scarves in autumn shades, and the once calming fireside craft has actually been appropriated as a vehicle of political protest. There was even a rumor bouncing around the web for a minute that Russell Crowe was an avid knitter (since debunked).
Austin-based Magda Sayeg founded Knitta Please as a decidedly different kind of street art project and an innovative way of beautifying and re-humanizing public spaces. She has organized "yarn-bombings"—which are exactly what they sound like—of everything from parking meters to tree trunks to a full-sized bus. On Friday, Sayeg and a group of friends joined the MINI Countryman Wanderlust Movement with an all-day event involving an epic picnic and lots of driving, and culminating in the ceremonial swaddling of an entire MINI in one of her custom yarn creations.
Music, Food and Fun by James Moody
James Moody is a guy who knows how to find a good time in Austin. He's the co-owner of Transmission Entertainment—the event-organizing agency that has run the musical festival Fun Fun Fun Fest since its inception five years ago. He's also a partner in The Mohawk, a popular downtown bar and venue (upcoming acts include Lightning Bolt and Of Montreal). For MINI Countryman Wanderlust, Moody laid out an itinerary that would put his expertise about music and food in Austin to good use. The two are more connected than you might think: The city's famed food trailers are said to have helped many a slogging would-be rock star make rent while simultaneously making band practice priority numero uno.
On Saturday, his food trailer tour set out to systematically pinpoint the best one in Austin, and bestow the proper accolades. Together with a team of hungry local musicians, he spent the day leapfrogging from one wheeled meal to the next and exploring the sundry marvels and oddities they stumbled across in between. Delicious.
Road tripping, Camping and Marfa Light Star-Gazing by Matt Sonzala
Like his fellow Austin Wanderlusters, Matt Sonzala's concept for MINI Countryman Wanderlust was born out of a local's knowledge about Texas and the kinds of adventures it has to offer. He's a mainstay on the Texas hip hop scene, as well as a writer, DJ and music exec who's organized showcases and panels for SXSW. Starting Sunday night, he got together a crew of friends to road trip out for a three-day camping extravaganza in the isolated West Texas town of Marfa.
The unique little hamlet is known as an international destination for minimalist art, but Sonzala & co. have a slightly different item at the top of their agenda: staring down the Marfa lights. Static electricity? Luminous swamp gas? Alien pranksters? The phenomenon of this mysterious night-time glow remains unexplained, which will add an element of spooky suspense to this weekend desert escape.
Photos from these super-fun Austin events are sure to pique your own wanderlust—so once you're finished journeying through the gallery below, put your own event idea on the Wanderlust Map. It's mostly about having fun with your friends, but we might even single you out and give you a cool prize. What have you got to lose?
Lizzy Mae and Valentina clocked up 15,000 kilometres on a winter trip in their MINI Cabrio "Chippy", passing the Swedish Royal Palace in Stockholm, completing a quick lap of the Red Square in Moscow and crossing the Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul. Find out more about this epic road trip here.
Traffic jams aren't good for much, but they definitely produce some great daydreams. Anna Dulin, designer and new MINI driver from Houston, brought one common commuter's fantasy to life. Watch here.
The MINI International Vol. 43
What happens when the brains of two brilliant, visionary-minded men collide? The MINI Clubman Vision GT, a brand new MINI concept car for video game sensation Gran Turismo, is born.
Q&A With Creators of a Virtual Supercar: MINI and Gran Turismo Introduce the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo
The creators of the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo share the unique process of collaborating in a virtual world. Founder of Gran Turismo Kazunori Yamauchi and MINI Designer Christopher Weil have a virtual supercar they want on a real racetrack.
It's not just its iconic silhouette that makes a MINI unique. Step into the MINI Design studio and get a closer look at the high quality features to set your MINI apart from the many.
Parked 2200 meters above sea level in the frozen Swiss Alps, a MINI Countryman stands as an unlikely art installation. See the creative twist Geoff McFetridge put on the 2015 Burton European Open.