AUSTIN (KXAN) — Palpable excitement cut through the heat on day two of this year’s South by Southwest festival.

Along South Congress Avenue, film screening attendees lined up outside the Paramount Theatre.

Among them was Justine Kraemer, an online media blogger from Toronto visiting Austin for the first time.

Her biggest hope for the fest was to attend the screening of the new Dungeons & Dragons movie, that wish coming true Friday night.

While this is her first time at SXSW, Kraemer said the vivacious energy of the fest was undeniable, especially after the pandemic.

“I think there’s a real energy that people are just wanting to come back and get into as much as they can. I think that just comes across every minute we’ve been here,” Kraemer said.

Also catching the SXSW spirit was pedicab driver Thomas Romero.

Romero said the first couple days of the event have been the most lively he’s witnessed in years and that he’s glad to be part of it.

He said an autoimmune diagnosis kept him out of working the festival last year.

Now that he’s recovered, he plans to use his renewed excitement on and off his bike.

“I’m finally able to ride a bike and be outside, and not be sleeping 16 hours a day. I can talk to people,” Romero said.

SXSW 2023 continues through March 19.