South By Southwest is a roar of urban culture that is heard around the world. The Texan festival prepares a new edition capable of converting the most transgressive and innovative trends and the most genuine underground into something daily.
We are waiting for ten days with 2000 concerts, 244 films and shorts, hundreds of comedy shows, endless hours of gaming, unique artistic and technological exhibitions, parties and thousands of conferences. You would not be able to cover all its programming in your lifetime. Do you feel lost in this ocean? We have selected for you the best of an endless festival from March 8-17.
Much More than a Festival
Millions of visitors come to this festival every year since 1987. How can you enjoy it?
There are several options. From the premium badge ($ 1600) to badge for the musical, interactive or film festival, with prices around $1000 – 1200. They give you priority access in their sector but allows you to access as a secondary to the rest of festivals, except the premium pass which gives you priority in all. If you are on a budget, you can buy specific tickets for any SXSW event.
There are also some free events that you can attend through an RSVP reservation.
The whole city goes to SXSW, which makes Austin an experience in itself. It should be planned every day but the organization itself invites improvisation, as shown by the surprise visits by Elon Musk or Steven Spielberg or the concert cancelled by a bomb threat from The Roots during the SXSW18.
Do not miss our selection of experiences.
Welcome to the Future
Interactive Festival – March 8-12th – Check the venues here
The first days of the South By Southwest take place between parties and installations. Brands such as Samsung, Google, Dell, YouTube or Amazon create futuristic exhibitions in which they show the world the most radical innovation. This year awaits us an apocalypse created by Amazon to present its new TV show Good Omen.
Samsung prepares a spectacular dive on its Samsung Galaxy 10, while Vice has created a skate park with many surprises. Casa México and Casa Colombia will bring the colorful colors to this special week.
Capitol One House at Antone’s – Check the venues here
During three magical nights, Austin will vibrate with the most sophisticated pop in its different aspects. The combative and street pop of Bishop Briggs, the elegance of an underground muse like Chvrches and the seventies revival of Jungle form one of the most fascinating programming of the festival. The dream of an SXSW night.
The Rap was Never the Same
The Long Island band is a myth of urban music. Their jazzy rap captivated in the 90s a whole generation that understood the innumerable musical paths of the genre. A moment for the reencounter with a legendary band that will play authentic generational hymns in Austin.
The refined bpm’s by Daniel Nakamura explain the direction of current electronic music and hip hop. He began as a precocious violinist to become an imaginative DJ who saw rhythms where no one else saw them. From the label Soleside, where he meets DJ Shadow, he has created the most brilliant electronic music of the last decades.
Chatting with Stars
Keynotes and Speakers – Check the venues here
Apart from the various festivals that take place in Austin at the same time, the South By Southwest offers you the possibility to chat with celebrities. Musicians like ASAP Rocky or David Byrne will show their views on life and music. The musical Keynote by Adam Horovitz will bring us closer to the legendary Beastie Boys.
One of the highlights of the festival will be the chat between the muse of the 90s, Shirley Manson, from Garbage, and the new icon of alternative pop, Lauren Mayberry, from Chvrches.
Such fascinating people as Ethan Hawke, Zoe Saldana, Gwyneth Paltrow or directors Felipe Meirelles, Frank Oz and Olivia Wilde will offer us their most intimate side. The technology will also be present with Mike Krieger, the co-founder of Instagram and Dennis Crowley, the creator of Foursquare. A very emotional moment will be listening to Alfredo Corchado, a correspondent who will tell us stories about the border.
Check the asian venues here
The SXSW looks to Asia as a new alternative oasis uniting two different cultures through music. XXX is the Korean sensation of electronic music and arrives in Austin with rhythms that fuse techno and hip hop. They will be accompanied by IKON and Chung Ha, the last sensations of K-POP, in the Korean festival night.
The Kawaii philosophy, so positive and naif, Chai will be one of the prominent faces of the Japanese delegation in this South By Southwest. China shines with Young13dbaby and a representative of OTAKU Rap as Young Poc. Although, the most fascinating proposal coming from Asia is undoubtedly Taiwan Beats. Their electronic music spell will leave its mark through the beats of Chiu Pi, I Mean Us or The Fur. Accept the call from Asia. You will be fascinated.
To return to the 90 is to return to the music of Graham Coxon. The crazy guitar of Blur marked a happy decade to which we always turn in search of musical answers. Coxon is one of those artists who has made pop mature. A revival moment to enjoy nostalgia.
A Canadian Experiment
Broken Social Scene is more than a band. It is a Canadian collective whose 19 members are part of a unique musical conscience. A select sample of Canadian talent to immerse themselves in pop and efficiently transform its style. No limit experimentation for a festival as experimental as the South By Southwest.
Pop as an Addiction
This duo from New York has been making some of the most electrifying pop songs since the beginning of the decade. Its mixture of tenderness and rage is addictive. Few bands can boast of having their own sound, something that Cults has achieved based on style and talent.
The Suburban Electronic Music
The new London electronic music is raised in peripheral neighborhoods, underground clubs where the past is yearned for and in brave alternative labels. The most fascinating face of this new British electronic music is Madam X. The queen of the new techno arrives in Austin to claim a totally irresistible nightlife lifestyle.
British Music Embassy – Check the venues here
This embassy is a passport to the UK’s alternative sounds. If you have doubts about where to go, the embassy has its doors open to rap, jazz, soul or pop. Their display of artists is fascinating with Ezra Collective King Nun, LUCIA, Sam Fender or Her’s willing to burn the SXSW from March 11 to 16.
Psychedelia is still alive in bands like Mystery Lights. From the depths of Brooklyn, they have been able to explore the most radiant 70s and export them to a new century. Their guitars scream help your mind to explore new realities. Psychedelic and Fascinating.
South By Southwest Speaks Spanish
Sounds From Spain – Check the venues here
The South By Southwest shouts Spanish during two dates in which the most irreverent bands of the Spanish scene colonize Austin. On March 13, a showcase will be organized with a delicious paella presiding Austin downtown. The next day another showcase will highlight the electronic talent of Delaporte, the new flamenco of Diego Guerrero, the dreamy guitar of Twanguero, the electrifying rock of Trajano! or the Baywaves pop.
Other Spanish artists that will sound at the South By Southwest are Melenas, Yawners, FAVX, St Wood, Sexy Bicycle or Hickeys.
The World in Trucks
South by Southwest is also eaten. The international spirit of SXSW is reflected in this festival of flavors on wheels. Venezuelan delicacies from Four Brothers, magical donuts from Little Lucy’s, marine wonders from Mr Catfish or Caribbean jewelry from Load a Bowl. Nor will the flavors of Cajun New Orleans cuisine be missing from SeaFood Cajun Concessions. The world is at your feet in fascinating food trucks.
The New Rap
Tierra Whack is a cyclone, that based on creativity, has devastated the classical bases of rap. Her debut album Whack World fits in a 15-minute colorful video clip that impresses with her catchy rhythms and unique sensitivity. From Philadelphia, she has conquered the world winning the Grammy for Best Video. Are you going to miss it?
Atlanta is the most fascinating scene in present-day America. There are usually rappers with crude histories and aggressive rock bands that recover the destructive power of the Garage. One of them is Deerhunter, who has polished his youthful rage by exploring noise, post punk and dream pop. Guitars have never been so crazy in Austin.
If you are looking for adrenaline, take a dose of Viagra Boys. Punk re-emerges in their thunderous songs that also make a nod to the German krautrock. Desire for self-destruction, powerful sounds and a charismatic frontman, form an explosive cocktail that connects the street with the stages in a punk communion that you will not forget.
The Rhymes of Europe
This Swede rapper raised in Belarus is an icon of the new European rap. His rhymes speak of social realities, but he also has time to rap good moments and hopes. Acclaimed as an actor and singer of the band Sad Boys, he continues to connect with the street, which awaits him to receive fresh air.
Femme is the stylistic icing on the new London Techno-House. A club culture that resurfaces in this London artist with apparently simple songs but that hide true electronic jewels and a tolerant attitude that is very cool. Desire to dance will not be lacking in this authentic rave in which everyone is welcome.
Crumb really loves us. Their collect psychedelia crumbs, some synthesizer and jazz bases to form a delicious pop that you taste again and again. The New York band has the ability to fit anywhere and in front of any audience. Their sounds and your mind fly away in search of the lost notes of this sonorous delight.
Wyclef is a classic of South By Southwest. Last year we were captivated by a crazy and memorable party. In that delicate atmosphere with the scent of marijuana, he exuded sympathy and charisma. An epic party gave us back the great songs of the Fugees and those of Wyclef. One of the most tremendous shows of the festival.
Jazz, percussion, and magical nights. This is a show by Yussef Dayes. His talent revives seventies jazz being one of the references of the London jazzy scene. New heir sounds of the most select jazz offer you the opportunity to meet again with this marvelous genre. Do not hesitate. Yussef has the keys to the ambrosia sound.
The Natives from Austin
Check the festival venues here
The local scene has a lot to say at South By Southwest. Many of its stars, of which we spoke during our trip through this vibrant scene, will be present at the festival. Jackie Venson, Vallejo and Tiarra Girls will pay tribute to their city on March 13 at EQ Austin Showcase.
You can also find at SXSW the Shinyribs, which are sweeping the Austin music awards. Or bewitch yourself with the soul of Tameca Jones and the stylish rock of Lukas Nelson, the son of the great Willie Nelson. Bob Schneider, Black Pumas, Abhi the Nomad, Dossey, Jake Lloyd and a host of great Austin artists will be an important part of this festival that thinks locally but acts globally.
New Film Realities
Film Festival – Check the film venues here
The South By Southwest film festival is a gateway to the new film realities. The star of this edition is Red 11. A fascinating story directed by Robert Rodríguez in which the dangerous links between cinema and narco are shown. Do not miss: Porno, by Keola Racela, X & Y, by Anna Odell, The Curse of La Llorona, by Michael Chaves, The Highwaymen, with Kevin Costner, Pink Wall, by Tom Cullen, or the world premiere of Pet Cemetery.
Documentaries are a highlight of the festival. Bluebird discovers the modest beginnings of stars like Garth Brooks or Taylor Swift in an incredible cafe in Nashville. Running with Beto analyzes the magnificent electoral campaign of Beto, a charismatic Democratic candidate who almost overthrew the Republican rule in Texas. The Gift is an incredible journey through the memories of Johnny Cash through an intimate portrait. His son will be at the premiere of an indispensable film. Another iconic documentary recovers the story of the recording of Amazing Grace, a legendary album by the great Aretha Franklin.
More than 240 movies are waiting for you in Austin. If you want to consult the venues click here.
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