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?
MINI has competed in the gruelling Dakar Rally since 2011, winning 3 of the 4 it's entered. Recap one of the greatest winning streaks for MINI since its legendary days of the 1960s here.
The new exhibition at BMW Museum shows 30 fascinating original vehicles and many exciting background stories about MINI. Take a tour with Andreas Braun, who curated this treasure trove of MINI moments.
Take it from the guys who go the extra mile to top the podium. This is what they say it takes to win.
The competitors at the 2015 Rally Dakar now have half of the roughly 9,000 kilometres through the heart of South America behind them. Their reward is a rest day. However, it would be wrong to believe they can put their feet up for a day. There is no time for that sort of thing on the toughest rally in the world.
Dune hopping is no hobby, and the X-raid Team in their MINI ALL4 Racing have had their work cut out for them on the Dakar 2015 route. Scroll down for an exclusive look at their sand-spraying antics.
More than 9,000 kilometres over perilously soft sand dunes, through fields of treacherous boulders, across the gargantuan heights of the Andes, and through the relentless desert heat of one of the driest regions on earth: anyone with victory in mind must be prepared to suffer. That much is certain, as MINI looks to successfully defend its title at the 2015 Rally Dakar.