The event of the year that keeps getting bigger and bigger is just starting right now again in Austin. It began in 1987, and has grown more epically and gigantic than any other festival similar to it. The music is the main draw of course, but now interactive events, 9 days of film, and over 2,200 performers in over 100 different venues. Growing from 700 registrants during its early beginnings to now over 12,000, many acts make the trek every year in hopes of being truly discovered, picked up on one of the event’s prominent You Tube channels, and planted in front of many of the hippest faces in the nation. John Mayer’s performance here 15 years ago led to him being signed with a label, and The Flaming Lips have played a secret show at SXSW that many think was one of the top moments ever in music festival history. This year will no doubt be the biggest yet, so we’ve rounded up some of the top events that we believe will take the cake.
Keynote speaker this year: Snoop Dogg
This multi-platinum artist and icon knows so much about digital ventures, selling millions of albums, and marketing that he is
truly a legendary speaker. He has released 12 albums since 1993, has a new album coming out May 12th produced by Pharrell, and is truly a king of hip hop music. Discovered by Dr. Dre and recently converting to the Rastafari movement, he’s an expert on documentary making, reality TV, and even coaches a high school football team. The first artist to release a track as a ringtone in 2007, the things any musician or product marketer could learn from him are endless.
Episodics Screenings, Vimeo Theater
Inspired by SXSW programming from previous years, these screenings are going to be packed wall to wall. With informative Q and A sessions after each one with talent, creators and crew members, this year’s offerings look way above average. With features Angie Tribeca from Steve and Nancy Carrell, The Comedians from Billy Crystal, Izombie from Rob Thomas, UnREAL from the creators of Mad Men, and USA series with Christian Slater Mr. Robot, this year’s offerings will be pure awesome. The same forum that screened Bates Motel and the hit HBO series Girls, these nights are going to be fun, enjoyable, and a peek at some of the hottest programming out there.
Free Spotlight Showcases 2015
One huge highlight of the festival, these shows are even open to those without guest passes. Cheer up Charlie’s and No Play music are presenting Shivery Shakes, New York City Queens, and more on March 17th, and at The Red Eyed Flu is The Last Year, Shilpa Ray, and Comrade Question. Another huge deal is Spoon and Charles Bradley at Lady Bird Lake on March 19th, and at Emo’s on the same date you can see legendary Wavves and The Twilight Sad. Our pick for March 20th is Ryan Bingham and Luther Dickinson at Lady Bird Lake; this is going to be one killer lineup. On Saturday the 21st, there is so much to choose from in the realm of free events! You have Soul Track Mind and Con Brio at The Palm Door, The Beat Academy and Little Simz at The Velveeta Room, and Shattered Sun and Headcrusher at The Dirty Dog. But our pick has to go to legendary act The Church and Swervedriver, playing at Emo’s that night. Both top notch acts that have a shoegaze sound, this is one show that will kill it at an already fantastic week of musical happenings.
Official website: www.sxsw.com