According to Rolling Stone the lineup for this years Fun Fun Fun Fest has been announced. The three day festival will take place at Auditorium Shores in Austin, Texas on November 7, 8, and 9th. Festival tickets go on-sale beginning Tuesday, May 20th. Visit the festival’s website for more information. The lineup for this years fest is looking pretty promising as it includes metal legends Judas Preist, hip hop legend NaS (who is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Illmatic), and indie darlings Death Cab For Cutie. Be sure to keep up with us with all the latest news.
I decided to write this article based on my past experiences attending South By Southwest (SXSW). I will be embarking to Austin, Texas for my tenth straight SXSW this year. I can safely say that I have seen and done a lot during my past few visits to one of the biggest music festivals in the world. This is my attempt to shed some light on how to do SXSW the right way.
I first attended SXSW in 2005, but was actually by accident. I went out to Austin to see some dear friends and to go see The Strokes at Stubbs that year, barely knowing that a few days later the actual festival was taking place. I only stuck around for the first day of the festival and knew then that this was possibly something I could attend annually. As each year passed I got familiar with the inner workings of how the festival operated, which is quite confusing at times. There is basically two ways to attend the festival: the "official" way by means of an official badge, or the "unofficial" way which has grown exponentially since the festivals inception. What's the difference, you ask? Official badges are usually obtained by industry types, giving them access to the official showcases, panels, parties and etc. These badges come at a hefty fee ($650 +) and go up in price as the festival nears. The unofficial way to enjoy SXSW is to partake in what are known as the day parties. These are usually held during the day in the venues along Sixth Street and outlying areas of downtown. Within the last few years we have seen these day parties become widely commercialized by huge companies such as Pandora, Doritos, Levi's, Samsung and more. From a marketing standpoint it's pure genius: bring in a few bands, offer free booze and food and BAM, you've hit your niche market. I have been fortunate to cover some amazing artist during these unofficial parties, acts like Lou Reed, N.E.R.D, Hole (Courtney Love), Kanye West, Odd Future, Nas, Elle Goulding, Imagine Dragons, Bon Iver, Vampire Weekend and many more. The unofficial showcases almost out-rival their official counterparts. The thing with these showcases is that you never know who will show up and perform, it's best to be on your feet and ready for anything.
It comes down to a science with RSVP'ing to a majority of these parties nowadays. Don't ever make a schedule; it is certain that by the time you get to the third band you want to see it will be thrown into a flux. The secret to seeing bands you want to see is to compromise. You will wait in long lines, you will eventually get into the venue, you will get free booze and you will get to see your band. If you plan on going with a group, be prepared to not see them for the duration of the week. Always designate a meeting place at 2 a.m. to meet up (food trucks, historical landmarks, local food spots, etc..).
The thing about attending a festival like this is to choose one place and stay there, its almost guaranteed that the band you want to see will probably be playing 12 more times during the fest (word of advice: choose the venue in which they will take the stage the earliest). Take the chance to discover new venues as well! I can say I have probably seen a show in almost every venue on Sixth Street, the festival's main drag. Some offer intimate experiences and great lines of sight such as The Parish, Red 7, and The Blind Pig. Other venues usually pop up only during the festival and are gone by Sunday morning after the festival ends. Anyone remember when Fader Fort was so small you could literally walk in and out without waiting in line?
If this is your first SXSW, here's a survival guide list of what to carry with you:
- Backup battery chargers (like the Mophie Juice Packs) I usually carry 2
- Sunscreen (it is March, and usually pretty hot)
- Cash (You get to drink for free in many venues, but don't forget to tip your bartenders)
- Toilet paper or napkins (...don't ask...)
- Paper copies of schedules (Your phone battery will die even quicker if you keep trying to look up set-times and venues, especially with the terrible cell reception)
- A light sweater (One year it got so cold I was even freezing [and I live in Denver])
- Gold Bond Medicated for the fellas (Just trust me on this one)
- Hydrate (With so much booze flowing take a minute to treat your body to some H2O)
- Band Aids (You will get blisters if you do not wear the appropriate footwear)
- Hand sanitizer (Austin is weird, you don't want to bring the weird back with you)
- Ear plugs (You don't want to go deaf after the first day)
- Sunglasses (Leave those expensive Ray Ban aviators at home, you will end up with 24 pairs of sunglasses when all is said and done)
Attention all bands!
Have you ever dreamed of playing our FILTER Magazine Cedar Street Courtyard in Austin, TX? We've held one slot open for one of you!
Make sure to enter Ernie Ball's Battle of the Bands contest and win an all-expenses-paid trip to Austin, TX to play a slot at our annual event. Past performers include Bastille, Of Monsters and Men, Band of Skulls, Imagine Dragons, Local Natives, Haim, The Neighborhood and many more.
The grand prize package is worth over $10,000 in gear and accessories including: Music Man guitars & basses, Ernie Ball string endorsement, Blackstar amplifiers, DW drum kit, and inclusion in an upcoming issue of FILTER Magazine and more!
Click on the flyer below to get started!
Ricky Young, Joel King, Taylor Burns and Preston Wimberly, grew up steeped in music; playing solo gigs, touring with local bands and working at venues. The four guys came together in Austin in 2010 through coincidence, mutual friends, and a shared love of the classics: Petty, Dylan, Cash, The Band, Allman Bros, Neil Young and Willie Nelson. They immediately began playing together and became The Wild Feathers. The young band spent the next year writing and defining their sound and touring around the country, sharing the stage with Delta Spirit, Surfer Blood and The Heavy, even landing an opening spot on Paul Simon's 2011 fall tour.
The Wild Feathers are a truly American band: their music takes elements of the best of rock, country, folk and blues music and reshapes it in a way that is both unique and modern.
Austin City Limits
Our annual pilgrimage to Austin, Texas brought us to our 2nd Annual Austin City Limits Festival this past weekend. Leaving Denver on Friday morning with snow at my doorstep, I couldn't be more excited to make it to the warmer climate down south in Austin. The forecast for the weekend was perfect. This year the lineup included some of my favorite bands that shaped the way I listened to music. It was bands during my high school days such as The Cure and Depeche Mode that would often find their way to my abundance of mix tapes I would often play. While the musical landscape has gone through many phases since, Austin City Limits thrives on the diversity of their lineups each and every year. From indie to hip hop to country and folk, ACL caters to all lovers of music. The festival itself was beautifully organized with accessible restrooms, free water filling stations, wi-fi access throughout the park and on time scheduled performances. With the Austin cityscape as its background, the setting couldn't be more perfect!
Day One | Friday | October 4th
I arrived just in time to catch the tail end of Jimmy Eat World, we covered them last time they were in a Denver and got to the festival just in time for the tail end of their set. The day also played host for awesome performances from Local Natives, Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys and fun. One of the highlights of the day was the performance from Wild Belle who captivated the late afternoon audience. With the sun setting on a warm first day the evening gave way to the electronic sounds of Kaskade who had the Honda stage raging, one of the few EDM artist on the bill, he managed to create an all out dance party as the evening gave way to some heavy hitters. Josh Homme and Queens of The Stone Age pulled of a raucous performance as the evening set in, fresh off a ACL Live taping the night before, QOTSA impressed just as they did here at Red Rocks a few months ago.
One of the big disadvantages of any music festivals is the conflicting time slots of certain artist you want to see Such was the case for Friday headliners Muse and Depeche Mode. I had never seen DM and while they played an integral part of my musical upbringing, I marked them down on my schedule once it was first released. Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher have been giving us a dose of electro-synth pop since the early eighties, easily establishing themselves as true pioneers of a music generation that has become a huge influence on many artist today. They cranked out hits such as “Personal Jesus”, Enjoy The Silence”, and “Policy of Truth” along with newer hits like “Welcome To My World”.
Purity Ring, Wild Belle, Arctic Monkeys, Depeche Mode, QOTSA and Kaskade.
Fad of the Day:
Flags on Flags on Flags, American festivals are starting to rival those European festivals with the amount of flags we see nowadays.
Day Two | Saturday | October 5th
Our second day found us taking our spot at the AMD stage for Portugal. The Man, who wasted no time in kicking things off with their hit “Purple, Yellow, Red and Blue”, off of the album Evil Friends. The remainder of their set included hits such as “Modern Jesus”, “So American”, and “The Sun”. They will be stopping in our fair city next week on October 18th, we highly suggest you attend. As the weather continued to become sweltering we managed to trek our way across to catch Passion Pit and The Joy Formidable, who put on some amazing mid-day sets. As the temperature began to drop it was time to setup shop for hip-hop reigning heavyweight and premier trash talker Mr. Kendrick Lamar. We had a chance to see Kendrick at SXSW and he has continued to become one of the genres most controversial and talked about emcees. With an album that made many “best of” including mine, its no wonder that the majority of the 75,000 in attendance made their way to catch a glimpse of one of the games best. The night gave way to what we call in Colorado hoodie weather and in Austin “frigid” conditions. Not that it mattered for long as The Cure took the stage and took me back to the days of broken hearts and a time were Robert Smith was all that mattered. As important as Depeche Mode was to me, The Cure played an equal part of my musical journey. Considered as early pioneers of the goth-post punk wave of the early eighties, it was albums like Disintegration and Wish that often made their way to my tape player. While age had definitely taken its toll on the band, they sound just as they did back in the day. Listening to songs such as “Pictures of You”, and “Friday I’m In Love” created the ultimate nostalgic euphoria I had imagined perfectly.
Portugal. The Man, Silversun Pickups, Grimes, Passion Pit, Kendrick Lamar and The Cure.
Fad of the Day:
Craft Beers. With the inclusion of the new craft tent, it was easy for patrons to enjoy their favorite beers from across the country. Special shout-out to our own Breckenridge Brewery who managed to quench our thirst on a couple occasions.
Day Three | Sunday | October 6th
The last day of any festival is truly a battle for the strong minded. With a few festivals under our belt, we are used to the grueling conditions. We arrived just in time to catch Franz Ferdinand (who coincidentally we saw at our first ACL in 2005). One of our favorite groups that managed to make our “must-see” were Divine Fits, who played to a rather sparse crowd. As they finished wrapping up their set Toro y Moi was entertaining the smaller Bud Light stage with a rather strong performance. The evenings bands were probably the best of the three day weekend, with The National, Tame Impala, and Phoenix each holding their own with captivating sets. I must go on the record on saying that I am probably one of the biggest Radiohead fans in the world. When it was announced that the Thom Yorke led side-project of Atoms For Peace was headlining, i booked my trip to Austin within seconds. The supergroup led by Yorke and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Goodrich on keys and synths, Joey Waronker of R.E.M on drums and Mauro Refosco on percussion. The supergroup started in LA and has released a studio album titled Amok. The band managed to play almost two hours of afro-beat inspired music and having the opportunity to witness Yorke and Flea on the same stage jamming together was something I will never forget. In fact it was probably the highlight of our weekend.
Foxygen, MS MR, Divine Fits, White Denim, The National, Toro y Moi, Tame Impala, and Atoms For Peace.
Fad of The Day:
Texas A&M apparel, looks like Johnny Football has made a splash amongst college football fans in the city of Austin, which is a victory itself considering the whole town bleeds burnt orange.
Austin City Limits by the numbers:
Miles walked: 18.7
Red Bulls consumed: 7
Kind Bars consumed: 6
Overpriced beers purchased: 3
Festival T-shirt: 1
Colorado flags seen: 2
Breakfast tacos destroyed: 4
Free cocktails in the media tent: 8
Pedicabs taken: 2
Sweet Tea Leaf bottles drank: 11
Deep Eddy Vodka drinks: 5 (in one hour)
Amount of times phone battery died: 3
Day 1 Video Highlights
Day 2 Video Highlights
Day 3 Video Highlights
Our good friends from Austin have just released their first single "Shattered Dreams" from their upcoming album Sirens. Check them out at here. They are also on Spotify and iTunes be sure to pick up the album.
We will be embarking on our trip to Austin, Texas later this week to cover our 2nd Annual Austin City Limits Music Festival. We had a chance to cover last year and were impressed with the overall festival from the awesome lineup, weather, and staff (big thanks to the people in charge of the media tent for keeping us fed and well hydrated). This year has us even more excited as we get to see some bands that had a very influential impact on why i love music today. I grew up with bands such as Depeche Mode, The Cure and hell even Lionel Ritchie (i got down to Penny Lover...don't hate). As my musical knowledge began to grow it was staples such as Kings of Leon, Wilco, Franz Ferdinand and Jimmy Eat World that changed the landscape of music. Newer heavyweights such as Kendrick Lamar, MUSE, and Atoms For Peace round out the eclectic lineup this year.
Check out our three day schedule here.
Although I have seen many of the bands on the bill, a festival like this gives me a chance to see other acts I have been waiting to see like HAIM, Tame Impala, Wild Belle, Jake Bugg and Savages.
This festival also gives us a chance to reunite with our good friend at Ultra8201 for our yearly shenanigans and weekend of craziness (the other being SXSW). We will have live content all next weekend via our Twitter and Instagram feed, so be sure to follow us for Denver's exclusive coverage from the festival grounds, who know we may end up running into Ryan Gosling again.
Each year we make our way out to Austin, Texas for the annual South By Southwest Music Festival. Over the last few years the festival has grown bigger and bigger with record breaking crowds. Our goal each year is to catch that up and coming band whether it be at an official showcase or at a Whole Foods rooftop. This year was no different we managed to catch well over 65+ bands during our week stay and can say that it was hands down the most fun we have ever had. Standout performances by Sound City Players, Kendrick Lamar, CHVRCHES, Alt-J, and even our own In The Whale managed to put in noteworthy performances this year. We narrowed our photos down to some of the best moments we had and present to you the week in photos SXSW edition. Look for our official recap later this week.