Swagapalooza 2011 – SF

by foodhoe on April 21, 2011

Last week, I went to Swagapalooza, an invitation only event held at the DNA Lounge in SF.  It’s put together by Alex Krupp, who invited 150  bloggers, tweeters, and other digital influencers to watch five-minute presentations from emerging businesses to introduce and market their products by creating online buzz via social media.  Offering people more swag (free stuff) than they can imagine has a strong attraction as the club was packed, and perhaps because of the two free drinks, the crowd was very lively. I was starving and a bit chilled by the time I entered the club and by the providence of the gods, was handed a lovely warm loaf of thick crusty sourdough bread, provided by Sour Flour one of the presenters that evening.  How cool was that?

I made a beeline towards the bar, where a row of just heated Costco pizzas was conveniently placed.  A nice diversion while I waited to get to the bartender.  Notice in the far back the skinny girl going for the veg platter…  I had hoped to find a cheese and salumi platter to enjoy with the bread, but the pepperoni pizza did the job of appeasing the beast within.  Hmmm, butter and jam would have been very good spread on that warm bread too…

On the stage was a monitor displaying a tweetwall, live hashtag twitter feed of #swagapalooza, which was hugely entertaining and such a distraction.  I am not much of a twitterer,  I have account and even some followers, but I bleats self consciously and not very often…  The wall of tweets incensed the crowd of twitterers who were in a frenzy to see their tweets up on the wall.  Apparently the event generated such a flurry of tweets that the tag #swagapalooza was a trending topic on Twitter that night.

I sat near the front so that I could read the monitor properly and had the good fortune to sit next to bloggers Jo Boston and her husband Keaton, from Taking the World One Bite at a Time.  An adorable couple, it is always exciting to meet the people whose blog you read!  Anyways, Alex Krupp took the stage to welcome everyone and someone threw out a Harry Potter reference on the tweet wall which made the crowd giddy and the HP references continued whenever Alex took the stage.

Justin Kan, the founder of Justin.tv was the keynote speaker.  He got the twitterers twittering very inappropriately, because he did look rather haute modeling the Saboteur invincible blazer ($600), the world’s first tailored waterproof blazer.  Liked the red silk lining.  And you have to look at this video where he goes through a car wash to prove the waterproofness.  Hilarious! 

I heard there were alot of food bloggers attending the event, so I was expecting more food.  The bread was from Sour Flour, hand made by local baker Danny Gabriner who also pens the blog Gourmet Gastronomer, (which he said he no longer has time for – alas).  Sour Flour seeks to build communities through bread.  They give bread away on Bagel Mondays and offer Bread Training, a way to foster educated bread consumers, bakers and collaborators.

Another food presenter was TwoDegrees: buy an organic, locally sourced nutrition bar for $2.49 and a malnourished child receives a specially formulated nutrition pack.  The bars are available in chocolate peanut, cherry almond, and apple pecan.  We each received a sample bar, I munched mine on the BART ride home.  Chocolate peanut, it was similar to a Clifbar, but felt a little less processed with a bitter aftertaste. Not bad for a nutrition bar, but you can bypass it altogether and just order a virtual bar for $1.25, to send out a nutrition pack to a malnourished child.

Grubwith.us, promises that you never have to eat alone again.  They propose that you eat with strangers instead and build friendships over great meals at selected restaurants.

The only other food related product was the popUp recycling/trash bins from Flingsbins.  With the flip of the wrist, they pop out into a 13 gallon bin that holds 40lbs of trash or 60 bottles or cans.  They cost $30 for a pack of ten and are designed to be used for outdoor events, barbecues, etc.  See a cool ad here.

@LadyLeet, aka Tracy Lee of Dishcrawl (omg was she not haute?) and Brian Kimball of MagicCurryKart got onstage and threw magic panties out to the crowd.  What made the panties magic you ask?  I believe they contained gift certificates for free food.  Sadly nothing came flying out my way…

Afterwards we got our bags of swag and went on a tour of the SFArmoury, a National Guard Armory and Arsenal located at the corner of 14th and Mission Street.  An adult video production company acquired the building in late 2006, and we were led through the cavernous building and allowed to explore the facilities which were originally built to service the National Guard.  We gawked at the elaborate and cinematic sets that are used as production studios.  There were many interesting and quite bizarre settings, but I think my favorite was the basement where Mission Creek burbles along providing a seweresque ambience within the creepy subterranean cave.  Walking through the tour, I really felt that I had traveled into another dimension, it was like seeing a snippet of another reality…

We got lots of cool swag, look at the handsome men’s dress shirt from saboteur that includes a pair of cufflinks.  I grabbed another loaf of that bread which was very good toasted with butter and jam and also made very fine croutons…

I decided to focus this post on the food, but there were 10 presenters and even more stuff in our swagbags.   You can read much better and more detailed reviews on all of the presentations here or here.

Here’s a list of the presenters:


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