I wake up early Tuesday morning, the dawn of the SXSW Music 2014, to find out Jay-Z and Kanye West are playing a show for Samsung at Austin Music Hall on Wednesday. By 9 AM Tuesday morning, the line to secure tickets to the show had already been cut off. That’s the speed of South By. The viral nature of the festival and the speed of Twitter descend on Austin for 10 days each March.
Kanye and Jay-Z are SXSW regulars by now and their shows are notoriously difficult to get into. These big name acts are ruining the spirit of the festival, some say. It’s the evolving nature of a massive and truly unique 10-day conference, others counter.
I just want to see some music. I want to see up and coming acts make their mark on the national stage here in Austin. I want to see local favorites play in front of bigger audiences than they ever have before. I want to see random marketing campaigns like the Anchorman food truck and live talk shows like Jimmy Kimmel. And if I happen to get lucky enough, I want to see a big name act crash a party.
SXSW can be a lot of things to a lot of people. But if you are a fan of live music and you happen to be in Austin during South By, this is your Super Bowl week. Don’t get caught up in negativity or hype. Make this festival yours. [Read more…]