A new year, a new SXSW. We headed down to Austin, Texas a few weeks ago to cover our 13th SXSW Conference and made the most of it. The consensus this year was that it wasn't as crowded and lines at the venue moved pretty smoothly for the most part. We managed to take part in a few panels and a lot of showcases from Culture Collide, Flood Magazine, Pandora, Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan, Gorilla vs Bear, and Fader. Each showcase was unique in its own way featuring artist on the rise as well as a few established artist. Aside from music we got to immerse ourselves in a bit of interactive and film, we also got to play with baby goats (the highlight of our trip). Stay tuned for our "Top 15 Artist of SXSW 2018".
Culture Collide / Rainey Street
Each year Culture Collide takes over Rainey Street with a plethora of showcases all up and down the street, with brands like Twix, M&M's, and Showtime there wasn't a venue not showcasing some amazing day and night showcases. Collide events were headlined by some truly extraordinary major artists and rising stars, among them Action Bronson, Speedy Ortiz, Cut Copy, Joey Purp, WAVVES, DMC, U.S. Girls, Princess Nokia, Japandroids, Ghostland Observatory, Andrew W.K., Cold War Kids, White Reaper, Sylvan Esso, Okkervil River, Jukebox the Ghost, Son Little, Albert Hammond, Jr., Classixx (Live), The Black Angels, Stella Donnelly, Natalie Prass, Sudan Archives, Sunflower Bean, Snail Mail, Ron Gallo, Knox Fortune, Night Beats, Billie Eilish, R.LUM.R., Tennis, Wye Oak, Black Pistol Fire, Lee Fields and The Expressions, BRONCHO, Low Cut Connie, Shamir, Bully, Porches, Soccer Mommy, Kemba, Tinashe, Elle King, Larkin Poe, Now, Now, and many, many more.
Pledge Music and Noise Trade Present Kenneth Cole's PledgeHouse / Rainey Street
This was our first time visiting this showcase and it instantly became one of our favorites. With stacked lineups everyday, it was easy to hang out at The Black Heart each day with two amazing stages showcasing artist such as Frank Turner, Nikki Lane, Lukas Nelson, Jade Bird, Sunflower Bean, U.S. Girls, Wye Oak, A Place To Bury Strangers, Caroline Rose, Durand Jones & The Indications, Tristen, Mt. Joy, Gang of Youths, Field Report, Now, Now, Warbly Jets, Josh Rouse, Marlon Williams, Morgan Saint, Dessa, Stella Donnelly, Kyle Craft, Nilufer Yayan, Son Little, Shame, SYML, Sego, Naked Giants, Becca Mancari, Gracie & Rachel, Vista Kicks, Low Cut Connie, Raye Zaragoza. Some of our favorite sets were from U.S. Girls, Jade Bird, Warbly Jets, Son Little and Sunflower Bean.
Pandora at SXSW / The Gatsby
Always one of our favorite destinations each year Pandora at SXSW showcases more than 32 artist for three days and three nights. Each showcase features amazing artist and genres that are easily accessible to fans. Settled at the end of the hectic Sixth Street, Pandora turns The Gatsby into a music lovers paradise with amazing activities in which attendees have to go through a scavenger hunt in order to receive exclusive Pandora prizes. This year artist such as Tank And The Bangas, Salt Cathedral, Kelela, Pale Waves and more were some of our favorites.
The Fader Fort
Year in and year out Fader Fort manages to put on one of the best showcases for breakout artist. This year was no different as artist such as Billie Eilish, Superorganisms, Speedy Ortiz, Knox Fortune, Pale Waves, Soccer Mommy, Bun B, Cherrie and more. This year Fader with Google VR, for the first time ever, select artist performances will be livestreamed in VR180, a new VR format providing 4K, three-dimensional video. The VR180 livestream invites fans worldwide to experience performances at FADER FORT as if they were there in the crowd. Fans can access the VR livestream at YouTube.com/fader using a VR headset such as Google Cardboard or Daydream View, mobile device, or desktop. Plenty of drinks were flowing from sponsors PBR and Jack Daniels as well as Ping Pong and Jenga. It was also a celebration to showcase the classic 574 sneaker from New Balance. We already can't wait to get back next year. Denver's own CRL CRRLL even managed to pop in to host DJ duties during the day and nighttime performances.
FloodFEST / Cedar Street Courtyard
Away from the hustle and bustle FloodFest is a hidden gem nestled away in the Cedar Street Courtyard. With a new covered rooftop, shade was aplenty during the warm Austin weather. We have been covering this event since its heyday when we witnessed performances from the likes of Kate Nash, Devotchka, Middle Kids, Jain, and more. This year the lineup was typical of the great performances Flood Magazine has brought in the past. Bands such as Moaning, Speedy Ortiz, Kurt Vile, Porches, Sunflower Bean, Jukebox the Ghost and more. Flood Magazine is one of our favorite magazines and is full of incredible content, we suggest you pick up a copy today!
Gorilla vs Bear Showcase / Seven Grand
Always one of our showcases our friends at Gorilla vs Bear manage to hit it out of the park with the carefully curated showcases featuring some of the best up and coming acts around. This year the lineup was stellar with bands such as Helena Deland, Men I Trust, Forever, Hater, Hinds and more. The curator website has been making our listening adventures easier year after year with breakout discoveries that manage to always make it to our best of lists.
Brooklyn Vegan & Margin Walker "Lost Weekend 2"/ Cheer Up Charlies
Lost Weekend 2 took residency at Cheer Up Charlies this year boasting some amazing acts on two stages with the likes of Gang of Youths, Jade Bird, Gus Dapperton, A Place To Bury Strangers, G Flip, Andrew W.K., Okkervil River, Speedy Ortiz, U.S. Girls, Shopping, Ezra Furman, Men I Trust, Idles and more! Our favorite band this year Gang of Youths managed to play their final set of the week with an all out no holds barred performance that had the crowd mesmerized by the amazing energy from the Australian band.