Excited, my girlfriend and I hop out of the Uber and grab our bags. It was our second time in Austin, but I don’t think either of us thought we’d be back for SXSW. Also, I don’t think she had seen me perform my music like this before; with the whole DJ setup and a nice speaker system and all that. So, I was pretty hype because I would consider these to be some of the best circumstances for her first time experience.
I was looking for my good friend Jonny, who runs Night Owl Collective and told us to meet him on 8th Street. He’d found a good parking spot, and though it was a bit of a shadowy pocket in town, there were a ton of other cars chilling on this street, and the city was very alive. I figured we’d be good. Also, I couldn’t really think about all of that too hard, as this was my first time meeting Jonny in person, so you can imagine I was pretty hyped! He gave us both a hug, and we stored our things in the trunk of his black Honda Accord.
Conversation was effortless, and our semi-short walk brought us to the venue for the event of the night. I was greeted by some of my closest internet friends all at once. To be looking at all of these people (in three whole dimensions, I might add) was absolutely beyond me!
The night was unreal!
At around 2 A.M, Dilo, Jonny, and I headed back to his car so we could head home for the night. Jonny was carrying a bit of equipment from the show, so he asked me to help him put some stuff in his trunk. But first, we’d need to grab our stuff and move it to the back seat. So, Jonny pops the trunk, and…it’s EMPTY. I kinda chuckled and looked at my girlfriend, then (for some odd reason) instinctively looked under the car.
Nervously, I asked Jonny, “Hey man, where’s our stuff?”
He squinted in confusion, and my heart dropped to the ground.
I was really hoping it was all a big joke.
Everything… Both of our laptops, my MIDI Controller, my DJ Controller, our socks, shoes, underwear, toiletries…gone. And just like that, Dilo and I were hundreds of miles from home with nothing besides the clothes on our backs, our wallets, and phones. On top of that, I had a show to play the following night.
All I could think was, “I was literally just having the time of my life.” Couldn’t really do much but stare into space. So I stared into space, cried a little, prayed a lot, and Jonny filed a police report.
The night was unreal.
“Word spread, and in less than 24 hours, people from all over raised thousands of dollars for us. We were receiving support of all kinds, and we truly felt blessed in the midst of unbelievable circumstances.”
In a miraculous turn of events, my girlfriend and I woke up to a fundraising campaign Jonny, and almost all of Soundcloud started for us. Word spread, and in less than 24 hours, people from all over raised thousands of dollars for us. We were receiving support of all kinds, and we truly felt blessed in the midst of unbelievable circumstances.
my other half got his stuff stolen last night and he doesn’t deserve that at all, if you can help in any way please doante to his paypal firstname.lastname@example.org and share the news around pic.twitter.com/P6641oWowN— chuck sutton (@chuck_suttonn) March 15, 2018
Things were looking up but, I wasn’t in a position to buy all my equipment back before my show the following night, especially with the lurking fear of getting it all stolen again. Instead, I had to learn how to use a new controller and new DJ program all in the hour before my set that night. I threw it together, and tried to get myself emotionally ready to perform.
Seems like I couldn’t catch a break though because the cops showed up and told us to turn the music down RIGHT before my set. Everyone was pretty spooked, so a lot of people left, but I had my girlfriend front and center, as well as a few of my good internet/Soundcloud friends there to support me. It was this weird bittersweet feeling where I knew I should be grateful for the opportunity to perform for my friends in a city outside my own, but I was so disappointed in how it all came to fruition.
“I still can’t quite grasp how quickly things changed within that 24 hour span.”
Looking back on it still brings me some pain, but I’m not as bitter about it as I was right after it all happened. It’s been a tall task to try and positively contextualize the robbery, especially considering I’ve only recently fully recovered. However, this is what I have now:
That night broke me…absolutely snapped me in two. Though that may be the case, I’m blessed to be standing where I am today back together in one piece. I was pushed to my limits during the healing process, but it reinforced my faith and grit. After only about a year, I’m making some of my best music to date, connecting with beautiful souls all around the world, and falling deeper in love with this insane journey I WILLINGLY signed up for.
I can’t wait to see where it takes me next!