Now that we have given you a small preview of our SXSW coverage, we want to share some more since we had that great of a time. Upon arriving to the Austin Convention Center (which by the way is pretty intimidating) we made our way to collect our credentials and check out what panels we would partake in. The first one that stood out was one for JJ Abrams (Star Wars) and Andrew Jarecki (The Jinx). We arrived and stood in line to catch this panel which was focused on advancements in digital technology and film. They also touched on varying perspectives on diversity in today's Hollywood. It was our first panel at SXSW and it was very intriquing to say the least. Aside from all the showcases we mentioned we had a chance to enjoy all the activations on site including free rides from Mazda, the nightly street performers on Sixth Street, to all the delicious food at SXSBites. We can't wait to come back next year.
It was now time to catch some music, after all that is what we were here for. A few showcases stood out to this year with amazing lineups spread out across a few days.
House of Vans (The Mohawk)
This year is a big year for the sneaker company as they are celebrating their 50th year. A mainstay at SXSW every year, Vans brings out awesome lineups year end and year out for a couple days of musical bliss. To top it all off they take residency at one of our favorite venues The Mohawk. The House of Vans returns for the fourth year and honors Vans' 50-year legacy of creative expression across action sports, art, music and street culture. To ring in the celebration, House Vans at the Mohawk called upon Texas local and genre defying icon, Erykah Badu, for a special live performance exclusive to House of Vans. A wide array of musical geniuses including Neon Indian, Kelela, White Lung, Quinn, Kevin Morby, James Supercave, Hinds, Domo Genesis, Downtown Boys and Sheer Mag are set to take the stage for a celebration of a lifetime. House of Vans at the Mohawk parties featured an eclectic lineup of "Off The Wall" talent. Programming partners include Cliché, Hypetrak, The Windish Agency, Middle West Management, Fun Fun Fun Fest and Cinematic Music Group. We managed to pop in a few times for some impromptu dancing.
The Arcade Presented by Prius/The Fader Fort Presented by Converse
We have attended this event since it used to take place on Brazos back in the day, in fact one of our fondest memories is seeing the late Lou Reed play there. The Fader Fort has always been our own discovery den for us. We have gotten a chance to catch some artist that later have gone on (and presently) to huge careers. We were there foe an early day set by Ellie Goulding a few years ago, we were there for Kanye West bringing out all of G.O.O.D. Music back in the day, we saw country artist such as Sam Hunt last year and Kacey Musgraves this year. This year they added what was known as The Toyota Prius Presents The Arcade at The FADER FORT. Attendees were able to recharge with a juice and smoothie bar and silent disco, and explore a fair of stations—from makers including Remidi, Artiphon, Death by Audio Arcade, photographer Ruvan Wijesooriya, Dot Dot Dash, and OffTop. The lineup also included headlining sets from comedian Eric Andre, an appearance by The Lucas Brothers, and a live broadcast of the Combat Jack Show podcast, and will be hosted by Cipha Sounds and A Tribe Called Yes.
The Fader Fort portion was business as usual with a slight twist this year. The theme was based around discovery, and up and coming musicians who are sure to lead a stamp on how we listen to music in the future. The last night, as per Fader Fort standards brought out surprise headliner Drake to close out the night and end this years showcase in spectacular fashion. Notable favorites this year included: Kacey Musgraves, Metro Boomin, Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals, Majid Jordan, and Drake.
Hype Hotel Presented by Mazda
Another one of our favorite destinations is the Hype Hotel. This showcase curated by bloggers like ourselves brings in some of the best talent at SXSW every year. This year was no different as we ended most of our nights at this oasis on the east side of town. The amazing lineups courtesy DIY, Stadiums & Shrines, yvynyl, Pigeons & Planes, Tiny Mix Tapes, ISO50, Gorilla Vs. Bear, Disco Naïveté, Blah Blah Blah Science, Cruel Rhythm, and Crack in the Road, along with the Hype Machine team brought about bands such as Aluna George, Polica, Gallant, Jack Garrat, Diet Cig, Lewis Del Mar, and many more including a headlining set by Charlie XCX and Sophie.
Spin at Stubb's (Stubb's BBQ)
Our good friends at Spin Magazine once again came through this year with another amazing lineup of talent. Such is the case every year we managed to make our way down to Stubbs to catch amazing bands such as Bleached, Vince Staples, CHVRCHES, White Lung and a special set by The Deftones. With two stages, it was rather easy to go back and forth between sets to catch these acts. Favorite moment was catching The Deftones bring out Bushwick Bill of The Geto Boys for an impromptu song, then proceeding to slay the rest of their set.
Bud Light Factory
A newcomer to the showcase scene Bud Light managed to give us a few day showcases as well as some awesome night showcases featuring the likes of Block Party, BJ the Chicago Kid, Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals, Lissie, Santigold, Yo Gotti and more. Each patron received a bracelet that entitled them to 5 Bud Lights throughout the showcases and had awesome giveaways and photo booth opportunities to share with friends. The highlight of the event was our last stop of the festival which was Saturday night. The nights headliners were billed as Big Grams and The Roots jam session. That itself had us curious as to who would show up. Turns out it was a who's who of special guest. The Roots came out and performed a few songs on their own followed by guests appearances by Big Grams, Too Short, X- Ambassadors, Ashanti, and Naughty By Nature. Comedian Hannibal Buress was in attendance as well. A perfect way to end our South By Southwest.
Photo Sideshow (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)