SXSW 2019: From Politics To The Future Of Music's Rising Stars, 2019 Had It All.

Another SXSW in the books. The 2019 edition was nothing short of amazing for us this year as we got to expand our coverage outside the music portion for the first time. This year enabled us to take in some sessions during the interactive and film portions as well as see some of the amazing activations brought to life. 2019 also marked a huge year for political keynote speakers to take the stage and participate in panels. Political speakers such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bill Weld, John Hickenlooper, John Kasich, and Stacey Abrams to name a few.

A documentary based on Beto O’Rourke’s recent Texas Senate battle with Ted Cruz was received to an amazing response. The documentary followed O’Rourke throughout his campaign giving us a glimpse at what we didn’t see from the congressman who would often post his daily musings on Facebook.

The festival also played host to the opening night of the new Jordan Peele’s film Us. Peele answered a few questions during the Q&A portion of the screening.

“I have a very clear meaning and commentary I’m trying to strike with this film. I also wanted to design a film that is very personal for every individual. On the broader strokes of things, this movie is about this country. When I decided to write this movie, I was stricken with the fact that we are in a time where we fear the other. Whether it’s the mysterious invader that we think is gonna come and kill us or take our jobs, or the faction that we don’t live near that voted a different way than us…”

Other notable buzz worthy films included the directorial debut from Olivia Wilde titled Booksmart. A coming of age story about two high school seniors who make a pact to cram four years of fun into one night. Highly recommend seeing this film.

One of of our favorite panels included a panel with Tinker Hatfield and Scott Dadich. One of the most famous shoe designers in the world, Nike’s Tinker Hatfield is a legend among sneaker-heads. He’s also the subject of one of the most popular episodes of Netflix’s Abstract: The Art of Design. In this session, Abstract co-creator Scott Dadich—a renowned designer in his own right—breaks down the creative process with Hatfield, exploring how different disciplines of design influence, inform, and inspire each other. (SXSW)

The panel explored the humble beginnings of Hatfield to the pinnacle of working hand in hand with Nike to produce and design some of the most memorable sneaker designs in history.

The music portion this year left us in awe with performances from some noteworthy veterans and of course up-and-coming buzz bands. Established artist such as Miquel, Big Boi, JUNGLE, CHVRCHES, The Joy Formidable, and Broken Social Scene all made for amazing performances in intimate settings. Newcomers such as Pink Sweats, YOLA, Combo Chimbita, Omar Apollo, Casius Clay, Megan Thee Stallion, Rico Nasty and more cemented their place at SXSW as a launching pad for what hopefully becomes long and amazing futures in the industry.

Another amazing year and as you can see we covered a lot of ground trying to catch as many bands as we could, this was our first year with a Platinum Badge and it was an experience to take it in all. We will see you next year Austin, thanks for the memories.

Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold and The Big Quiet, with artist Miguel, Bring the Calm with First-Ever Sunset Mass Meditation at SXSW

“Good Omens Garden of Earthly Delights”

Capital One House at Antone’s


Visit El Paso Showcase

Collide On Rainey Street



Floodfest Presented by Flood Magazine

Fader Fort

Rachael Ray’s Feedback

SXSW 2018: We Came, We Saw, We Played With Baby Goats.

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.

The Buttertones (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Soccer Mommy (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

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.

Sunflower Bean (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Pandora at SXSW / The Gatsby

Tank and The Bangas (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

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

Breakout star Billie Eilish (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

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 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

Kurt Vile (Photo Credit: Joel Richardson)

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

Helena Deland (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

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.

The Best of The Rest SXSW 2018

SXSW 2018: Ready Player One Invades Austin

This year we headed out to Austin a few days earlier than usual in hopes of catching the Ready Player One experience that was setup for fans. The on-site activation featured many interactive experiences including Virtual VR (of course), replica sets from the movie spread out through out a vast warehouse space, a computer station in which one could create their own avatar, a pop-up shop by Hot Topic with some merchandise and collectibles from the show and much more. We arrived just as the cat of the movie was finishing up a panel hosted by IMDB. The High Five (the first OASIS users to get on the Hunt’s scoreboard) as their know in the movie answered questions about their role in the Steven Spielberg film. The experience featured free cocktails and an impressive 80's soundtrack blaring from the speakers as fans of the movie mingled around.

Much to our own surprise it was announced that the movie itself was going to make its world premiere later on that night. Of course we had to figure out a way to get tickets ourselves (just like the characters in the movie in search of the three keys). We managed to wait in line for almost three hours in hope of securing a spot, as the theatre began to fill up our hopes looked like it was game over for us. Luckily as we walked away we managed to secure two tickets (which in turn were the very last two) and in we made ourselves inside. You could feel a buzz in the theatre as the cast of the film was in attendance as was author of the book and Austin resident Ernest Cline. most importantly the man himself Mr. Steven Spielberg was on hand to give us his masterpiece. We won't give any spoilers but we will say the movie is amazing and in typical Spielberg fashion one you do not want to miss. It gave us the same chilling feelings as movies such as E.T. and Jurassic Park from the past. The film is scheduled to come out later this week on March 29th. Get ready for a wild ride!

Words and Images-Robert Castro

SXSW Unplugged


This is a project i started last year and carried over to The UMS. I once again set out to catch the musicians of this years South By Southwest in their most intimate setting. While no easy task running around the city, the artists were all very gracious and accepting. Thank you all!

Nikki Lane

Nikki Lane

Speedy Ortiz

Speedy Ortiz



Young and Sick

Young and Sick

Deezie Brown

Deezie Brown

A Place To Bury Strangers

A Place To Bury Strangers

Son Little

Son Little

Soccer Mommy

Soccer Mommy

Warbly Jets

Warbly Jets

G Flip

G Flip

Jade Bird

Jade Bird



U.S. Girls

U.S. Girls

Fader Fort Returns To Austin


FADER FORT, one of today’s most sought-after live music events, returns to Austin, Texas for three days of live programming from March 14 - 16. This year FADER FORT will host an exclusive experience at  featuring some of the most influential names in music and culture including SOB X RBE, BbyMutha, Now, Now, YBN Nahmir, Mozzy, and Soccer Mommy.

Offering invited fans the same unparalleled access to both influential emerging and established artists, FADER FORT returns to Austin for a celebration of music and surrounding culture. This years multi-use, indoor and outdoor space will again offer multiple days of continuous live programming from daytime into the evening, as well as immersive and innovative on-site activations for fans. Further details including additional artist performances to be announced at a later date.

The FADER, the publication that originally brought FADER FORT to Austin in 2002, has been credited with bringing early performances of then unknown acts including The Black Keys, Florence and the Machine, Amy Winehouse, Sam Smith, and more to the stage early on in their careers. 

“FADER FORT began as a way for The FADER to elevate and amplify the artists and creators we champion in an authentic way, while providing an inclusive home that fosters discovery, connections, and collaborations,” says The FADER’s President and Publisher, Andy Cohn. “The original spirit of Austin and SXSW is what inspired FADER FORT in the first place, and we’re extremely grateful to be able to return again this year to host FORT in a city that has remained a prime destination for music discovery throughout the years.”

The FADER’s first-ever book FADER FORT: Setting The Stage will be available for purchase on-site at FADER FORT with a special 20% off discount available to guests. The commemorative retrospective about FADER FORT features never-before-seen portraits, candids, performance photos, and personal stories commemorating over 15 years of FADER FORT, and includes personal intros from FORT performers Damon Albarn and Sean "Diddy" Combs. Released earlier this month, the book is available now at The FADER's shop here and at select retailers including Brooklyn Academy of Music, Kinfolk, KITH, and more. 

In addition to dozens of DJs, musicians, and custom programming throughout the venue across all three days, FADER FORT will also feature:

Beats 1 will co-host an exclusive creative space with The FADER on-site at FADER FORT serving as a welcoming lounge for artists from across the full spectrum of musical creativity.

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey will be the proud exclusive whiskey partner for the fourth year in a row offering original cocktails for guests age 21+ and providing the Jack Daniel's Salon Barbershop where local guest barbers will offer fans the chance to receive a complimentary Jack-inspired hairstyling or cut.

New Balance will feature an activation celebrating their iconic New Balance 574 sneaker and its original grey colorway, representing the fearlessly independent state of mind and defining the understated design philosophy that anchors New Balance footwear. 

Pabst Blue Ribbon is the official beer sponsor of FADER FORT serving beverages to guests age 21+. This partnership launches PBR Sound Society, a collaboration with The FADER designed to amplify the harmony of non conformity. From hardcore to hip hop and all genres in-between, Pabst Blue Ribbon will contribute to pushing music culture forward by amplifying those artists and experiences that do not conform to genres or cultural stereotypes.

SMIRNOFF™ is the official vodka sponsor of FADER FORT serving Smirnoff specialty cocktails to guests 21+ from branded bars in the VIP and general admission areas, in honor of the brand’s newly launched Smirnoff Equalizer platform that promotes gender equality in the music industry.
• SPiN the ultimate ping pong social destination from New York will be bringing their signature ping pong pros, interactive games, and more surprises to FADER FORT to celebrate their newest location in Austin opening Summer 2018.

vitaminwater® is back again to keep all attendees hydrated throughout the duration of The FORT, serving up great-tasting vitaminwater® and vitaminwater zero™.

As in previous years, FADER FORT will be a guest list-only event, with invites received via email. There will be no public RSVP, and private invites will be nontransferable.

For up-to-date announcements, more information and to be the first to hear further news, check out, and follow The FADER on Facebook,, Instagram,, Snapchat, @fadersnaps and Twitter,