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Archive for the ‘SXSW’ Category

Popular Music Venues Lose Out In City Permit Scramble

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

Last year saw 147 ‘Events’ take place in Austin during SXSW week, primarily around music and the inclusion of temporary stages. All of these required a permit from the City of Austin.

There’s a drive to reduce the size of SXSW in the city, and the council had indicated that there would be an earlier cut-off fate of Feb 5th this year… it also had a hard limit of 120 permits. Those permits were all used up by Tuesday 2nd Feb, and a number of SXSW mainstays had focused on the date cut-off and not the permit limit. Austin360 picks up the story:

Among those caught in the lurch is the South by Southwest Music Festival itself. Festival organizers failed to get in the permit application for St. David’s Church. The downtown church has hosted popular SXSW showcases for years, including capacity shows from Fort Worth soul sensation Leon Bridges and French Cuban sister duo Ibeyi in 2015.

“(The application for) St. David’s church was 24 hours late (or 24 hours early based on the published February 5 deadline depending on how you look at it),” SXSW organizers said Friday morning.

Also caught up was South by San Jose. At this point the permit for the long-running free, family-friendly event that takes place each year in the parking lot of Jo’s Coffee and the Hotel San Jose is up in the air, as it was turned in after the Tuesday cutoff.

As noted, this is a new process that is under review, so it would not surprise us here at SXSW Baby! if the hard limit of 120 is very slightly bendable given the historical weight of some venues. We shall see…

Last Call for Vols

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Hey Babies!
Welcome to a new year of SXSW!!!

If you have ever wanted to volunteer for SXSW-now is the perfect time. Hour requirements to gain perks have been lessened, so it is easier to earn a badge.

Last vol call for this year is…

FEBRUARY 6th, from 3p to 6p, at Austin Convention Center (ACC).

Head here to get all the info you need.

Keep checking back here for more news, Babies! Till next time…

I Trust MPress Fest Will Deliver

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

There are lots of showcases from labels at SXSW, lots of ‘multiple performers on one bill’ going on under the official SXSW banner, and we’re not going to mention all of them (that is, after all, what the official site should be doing)… But we’re going to highlight a few favourites as March approaches, starting with MPressFest.

I’ve been at SXSW Music too many times to remember, and every year I’ve dropped in (at some point) to Rachael Sage’s gig at the Soho Lounge because I trust her to put together some great music on the roster. So this is a case of ‘not looking at the line-up, don’t need to, I trust Sage.’

You should too.

Come join MPress Records for our 10th Annual MPressFest at SXSW 2016 and enjoy an afternoon of free cocktails, free food and amazing music! Performers include A Fragile Tomorrow, Rachael Sage & The Sequins, Seth Glier, K’s Choice and more!

More details and RSVP at Eventbrite. 

SXSW Film Announces Feature Film Lineup

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

The SXSW Film Geeks have been busy! This is the first bit of news on the Film Screenings that will be at SXSW 2016. Midnighters and Shorts will be announced on February 16th. Here is a quick summary from their site:

139 features will be shown, with additional titles forthcoming. The complete lineup will consist of 89 World Premieres, 13 North American Premieres, and 8 U.S. Premieres, selected from over 2,450 feature-length submissions. First-time filmmakers account for 52 films, continuing the SXSW tradition of showcasing independent discoveries from up-and-coming directors.

Also this year, there will be wider access to the film screenings as follows:

Music Badges
Enjoy continued access to the 24 Beats Per Second screening section, as well as newly added access to Episodics and designated SouthBites screenings. Look for the green dots on the SXSW online schedule to see which films you can attend.

Interactive Badges
Soak in creative work with newly added access to Episodics, as well as designated SouthBites, SXsports, and SXstyle screenings. Look for the orange dots on the SXSW online schedule to see which films you can attend.

And now, after the fold, the films!


Artists Beware… ‘Pay To Play’ SXSW Unofficial Gigs On The Rise

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Austin360 writes about the experiences of many bands as promoters tempt them to ‘play SXSW’ by buying up a spot in a playbill. Not only are many of these events taking place before the SXSW Music week, but you don’t pay to play at SXSW. If someone is asking for cash, it’s an unaffiliated event. Deborath Stith:

We asked SXSW representatives about the event and they said they will investigate. They also directed us to this page on SXSW Pay-to-Play scams.

“SXSW never charges our artists to perform at an official showcase; we operate on a strict invitation-only policy. We do not condone these solicitations in any way, and are actively doing everything we can to protect artists from becoming victims of these “pay-to-play” scams… SXSW’s application process is closed and SXSW will not ask you to pay-to-play at the festival.”

Of course there is an investment for bands to play SXSW (including transport, kit, accommodation, and expenses on the ground in Austin), and paying to play a gig is not strictly a scam if you actually play the gig. But let’s stress once more the key message. SXSW will not ask you to pay if you want to play an official showcase. Got that? Good.

Here endeth the PSA.

Can SXSW Carry On Growing?

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

An interesting debate has started on the Austin American Statesman. Gissela Santacruz asks about the size of SXSW as an event, compares it to the explosive growth of Sundance,  and openly asks if it is simply too big:

It’s no secret that similar negative observations have been pointed out about SXSW. Austin residents and festivalgoers have been complaining for a few years now about public safety, traffic and the effect they have on the quality of a SXSW experience. Then, critics had more to make their case against SXSW growth after a tragic crash killed four people during SXSW in 2014. While enhancements to public safety measures have been made since the accident — measures applauded by the American-Statesman editorial board — it will be necessary for festival organizers to be more proactive in their planning to prevent more tragedies.

What started in 1987 as a stage to showcase independent musicians — adding film and interactive branches in 1994 — has exploded into a one Texas’ biggest Spring Break gatherings full of big names, big parties and bigger headaches for those who live and work in downtown where most of the official and unofficial SXSW gigs take place.

How long can SXSW continue to grow?  Hoel and bedspace has always been a major issue with the ‘walking distance’ hotels sold out months in advance (and that’s a a European walking distance), but infrastructure for transport around the city, the space required for events, presentations, showcases, and everything else… Austin is getting a bit cramped.

Can SXSW keep growing, or will more events like V2V be spun out of the SXSW ‘week’ in March to try and control the numbers?

Tony Visconti announced as SXSW Music’s opening keynote

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

There’s no doubt that Tony Visconti has a fascinating story to tell. As the co-producer on David Bowie’s momentous ‘Blackstar‘ album he is very much of ‘the now’, but his back catalogue is packed full of work with bands like U2, T-Rex, The Moody Blues, Thin Lizzy, and more. He’s the sort of speaker that will captivate a room and become one of the hidden gems of someone’s SXSW.

He’s also the first keynote to be announced for SXSW Music 2016, which is a very powerful position to occupy. It just feels a little bit… too soon, I guess.