Founded all the way back in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW has become synonymous with the finest in artistic expression. It’s legacy spans over three decades and has programmed performances and speeches from the likes of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson to The Black Eyed Peas and Kanye West. Running from 16-22 March, it’s part of a larger collective which includes film and comedy festivals, SXSW is a giant amongst the Summer’s festival programming. But don’t be fooled by its preeminent status, SXSW manages to bring new life into every iteration.
Here are five reasons why SXSW isn’t your average festival experience…
SXSW was born from heavy discussions in the offices of the Austin Chronicle, detailing how to export Austin’s unique sound to the wider world. This legacy of discussion and the meeting of minds is something which is still at the center of the festival to this day. This festival offers the punter the opportunity not only to hear great artist’s music but their words as well, offering their opinions of the latest developments in the music industry. This year don’t miss the musings of 50 Cent and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon.
First of all, when attending SXSW, stamina is key. This year the music festival spans from March 16-22nd, which means weeklong exposure to incredible acts based all around the city. If this prospect isn’t enough to make you wish for the same energy levels you had at your first Reading Festival, the offer of free alcohol at many of the stages will surely have you reaching for the morning energy drink.
During SXSW everywhere is a stage. With performances curated alongside PR Managers, record labels and media outlets, the whole of downtown Austin is transformed. Whether it’s a park, a church or a bar, you’ll never know where you might hear the next big artist of 2020.
Many people go to festivals to ‘be seen’ but at SXSW this attitude might actually get you somewhere if you play your networking cards right. As well as discovering new music, due to the overwhelming amount of industry heads in attendance, you might get discovered yourself.
Not limited by genre or region, with 2,000 official musicians from over 60+ countries showcasing this year, SXSW’s schedule is a who’s who of everyone breaking out in the music industry. This year will include performances by Wire, Otoboke Beaver, Alex Somers, Hop Along’s Frances Quinlan, Nasty Cherry, Algiers, Walshy Fire, Basia Bulat, Weeping Icon, and many more. Check out the literally thousands of people playing at https://schedule.sxsw.com/2020/artists/alpha/A.