SxSW – Day Zero
Day Zero (!)
The annual South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, TX encompasses two-thousand bands over five days in every building in the downtown area that has an electrical outlet and a toilet (toilet optional). Representing a wide strata of artists, from the do-it-yourself crowd to the multi-platinum established label types, it is possible to see non-stop music from the crusty-eyed morning to the bleary-eyed extra late evening (morning).
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, the festival, (known as SXSW), is anchored by the official convention: showcasing speakers, panels, discussions, open floor trade show, select musical acts. It also hosts sites away from the convention center, events that are purely band driven. All around these official showcases, there are countless unofficial ones, sponsored by labels, magazines, and agencies of all stripes that run bands from early until it’s almost early again.
This was the first year that we were able to arrive the day before the official music portion of the festival begins. Credentials obtained, we reacquainted ourselves with Austin, roaming the streets, visiting Guero’s and the Driskill and S. Congress and 6th Ave. There is an overwhelming feeling of the 1926 Hemingway novel The Sun Also Rises, as they spend some time in sleepy Pamplona before the Festival of Fermin begins with the running of the bulls. There’s a drastic change about to happen, and it’s like static in the air, potential energy that is about to burst into kinetic.
3:35pm. We have arrived.
Keep an eye out, as we’ll be posting videos, blogs, interviews and such from the Live Music Capitol of the World, during the festival season’s big kickoff week.