The Bizarre Ride of Kickback Sundays, Part 2
It's March 2012. The freewheeling atmosphere of South by Southwest has Kickback Sundays co-founder Teresa Waldon's spirits high. It's been months since she and partner Suzie Rivera had ended Kickback Sunday's first season and cancelled its supposed return, yet her emotions towards her "baby" haven't wavered.
Photos courtesy of kickbacksundays.com Signup time at Kickback Sunday
She moves around Austin, keeping tabs on every artist who affectionately calls her "Mama T" and especially her own artist, UZOY. After a meeting during a Warner Bros. showcase and exchanging pleasantries, she clutches onto her beanie, anxious to remove it. After some urging from myself, she does, revealing that most of her hair, a once-black sheen that draped past her ears is now gone -- the victim of chemotherapy and radiation from the removal of a cancerous mass.
"I'm almost done," she says. "Doctor says I'm almost cancer-free."
I smile, almost tearing up before going back to watch the show. Not before she mentions to me with a wry smile, "Kickback is coming back."
That Monday, she pulls out her phone and immediately pulls up Twitter, the main bridge for spreading her gospel with a message. "The Return of Kickback Sundays." Doughbeezy would be the event's new host and it would return to its original stomping grounds on the Northside.
Artists were thrilled, except for one thing that remained a constant from Kickback's initial run - backlash. "There's always been isolated incident, thats probably the more vocal one but we've gotten hate tweets and bad emails," Waldon says.
Rivera backs her: "We started Kickback for the underground, those who didn't have the option to network, who were getting frustrated from getting taken advantage of and actually have a haven to network," she says.
The main concern for everything Kickback revolves around its infamous "list," which has taken on a life of its own and since moved to an online format. The easiest way for artists to secure their spot was simple -- make sure your name was on the list before 7 p.m. Sunday.
Not until this edition of Kickback have artists camped out in front of the store to sign it. Before in season one, artists would have others sign them up, sometimes even getting their names misspelled as long as the opportunity was given to them.