Brace yourself as South by Southwest returns for its annual weeklong-plus takeover of Austin, Texas (March 10-19). SXSW hosts practically the entire national tech scene via SXSW Interactive (March 10-16), pop culture coverage via SXSW Film (March 10-18), and SXSW Music (March 13-19). This year, organizers added SXSW Comedy (March 10-18) as a standalone festival to give comedy lovers a gigantic SXSW dose of panels, speakers, meetups, and showcases.
As always, SXSW schedules, especially music, are considered evergreen and change daily, if not hourly. Just last week, Garth Brooks (artist), Steve Boom (Amazon Music Vice President) and T.I. (artist) were among the more than a dozen music influencers that were added as keynotes in addition to the previously announced Zane Lowe (radio DJ) and Nile Rodgers (composer). Also, organizers announced over 100 artists, including The Avett Brothers and Wu-Tang Clan, to its absurdly large current music showcase roster.
Several notable acts I look forward to seeing:
- The Accidentals
- Agnes Obel
- Billie Eilish
- Cherry Glazerr
- Future Islands
- Neko Case
- Thievery Corporation
- The Wild Reeds
It’s important to remember there aren’t just live performances at SXSW. Many industry professionals take the time to speak and discuss many pressing issues, most notably festivals, money, piracy, and streaming. SXSW features the Billboard and Vevo collaboration “Digital Revolution: A Look at Music’s New Frontier” that discusses how technology has changed the music landscape. Lou Adler and Paul Tollett talk about how music festivals have become the forefront of the music experience. And Chuck Creekmur (AllHipHop.com) leads an important panel discussion on the “Future of Music Mags” which would be relevant to journalists of all types.
Unfortunately, there are not as many music showcases as there were last year. Notably absent are Hype Machine’s Hype Hotel and Spotify House. Some notable showcases I look forward to attending:
- FADER FORT: March 15-18 – Cardi B and Lizzo are two of the scheduled artists to perform for invited guests. There will be no public RSVP, but interested viewers can view the livestream on TheFader.com.
- FLOODfest: March 16-17 – Flood Magazine presents its 3rd annual showcase with Karen Elson, Tei Shi, and Black Lips.
- Pandora: March 13-16 – Pandora streams live from The Gatsby with live music from FRENSHIP, Lo Moon, and Ryan Hurd.
Listed are just a few of the hundreds artists and showcases scheduled, both officially and unofficially, in Austin. Make sure to view the SXSW Schedule regularly and keep the official SXSW Go App updated.