FESTIVAL PREVIEW: SXSW
It’s midterm week. The professors have unloaded mountains of papers, presentations, and exams upon us. Along with this, it is cold outside, forcing us to have no excuse to stay inside and study. It is my last semester here at USC, meaning that my mountain of work due is humongous, which means that I should be spending my time thinking about the different facets of negotiation between cultures or the marketing funnel. However, all that is on my mind is the mammoth of a week that I am going to be experiencing in Austin, TX while attending South By Southwest, one of the biggest music festivals in the world (if not the biggest).
I was lucky enough to win a Music Badge to SXSW this year through Team Clermont and I quickly assembled a team to join me on my adventure to Austin. We are rolling deep, a group of 5 representing WUSC, which will be absolutely necessary in order to experience as many aspects of SXSW as we can. The thing is, I am probably going to see about 5% of the things that I want to see at the festival, if not less than that. There is just so much to do. First off, there are over 1000 “official” SXSW acts that spend the evenings playing at a number of showcases, such as the NPR Showcase next Wednesday featuring Damon Albarn, St. Vincent and Eagulls, one of my most anticipated events. However, there are 10 other great acts playing at the same time including Stepdad and Macauley Culkin’s new band The Pizza Underground. Normally, this type of festival would create extreme fear of missing out for many, but after talking to many people who experienced SXSW in years past, I have decided to pick a number of bands that I really want to see and try my hardest to see them, then go with the flow for the rest of the time.
The way SXSW works is extremely different from other festivals. Many of the official showcases require that you have a badge or wristband to get in (unless you want to line for ages only to get turned away), but there are just as many day parties/showcases that only require a RSVP beforehand to get in. For example, the mobile event app Applauze is hosting a number of showcases and parties throughout the festival; at least one a day. Their main event on Monday at the Scoot Inn is chock full of massive artists such as MS MR, Charli XCX (check out her new collab with Iggy Azalea), Robert Delong, among others. In order to get into this event, you have to download Applauze from the app store and RSVP on the app itself. Regardless of whether you’re attending SXSW or not, I highly recommend this app; it’s a good one. Along with their main event, they are going to have many others at the Casa de Applauze featuring free food, drinks, and bands such as Jordan Klassen, To Kill A King, and The Family Crest.
The Fader Fort is another major event at SXSW. It is extremely hard to get into one of their day parties, as they have gotten bigger and bigger every year. So far, the lineup boasts artists such as Sam Smith (one of my must-sees), Little Dragon, Chromeo, Glass Animals, and a many more incredible acts. The fact of the matter is that pretty much every party or showcase has at least one or two amazing bands featured as there is so much talent packed into the city for the week. Other exciting events include the Spotify House (Hozier, Phantogram, Real Estate), Hype Hotel (Tokyo Police Club, Wye Oak, SOHN – another one of my priorities), and the Harvest Showcase (Arthur Beatrice, The Preatures, Banks). As you can see, it is rather overwhelming, but exciting and crazy at the same time. Also, the MTVu Woodie Awards will be taping in Austin during this time, which is a big deal for WUSC as we have been nominated for an award. If we win, our station will be represented on stage at the awards show and receive the award for Best College Radio Station. Be sure to vote for us at http://bit.ly/voteforwusc.
I could write for ages on how excited I am for next week, but I should probably get back to the work that I have to finish before our trip begins. We will be regularly updating WUSC’s social media (Twitter & Facebook) with live tweets, videos, pictures, and more so be sure to keep an eye out for that. If you’re interested in heading to Austin for spring break/the festival, all the information you need can be found at SXSW’s website.
By Rupert Hudson