Jim Car­roll on 20 acts that caught his eye at SXSW,

Last week­end South By South­west in Texas cel­e­brated 25 years on the go. In the in­ter­ven­ing time it has grown from pro­vin­cial be­gin­nings to be­come the big­gest live mu­sic show­case on the planet. There were plenty of big names this year, from Kanye to The St

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Front Page -

EV­ERY­THING is big­ger in Texas, so we shouldn’t be too sur­prised at the size of Austin’s South By South­west (SXSW) fes­ti­val. It wasn’t al­ways like this. In 1987 four lo­cals put on an event to high­light acts in the south­ern and south­west­ern states, and SXSW was born.

As the event marks its 25th an­niver­sary, it has be­come the big­gest live mu­sic bash on the global mu­sic calender.

The scale of SXSW is stag­ger­ing. There are film and in­ter­ac­tive strands, both of which at­tract huge crowds in their own right. When it comes to the mu­sic strand, there’s an in­dus­try con­fer­ence with pan­els and key­note speeches, and a trade show for any­one who wants to net­work.

But it’s SXSW’s live mu­sic con­tent that draws the crowds. There are more than 2,000 bands in town for the event, and they’re play­ing shows at all hours of the day and night in what is the self-pro­claimed live mu­sic cap­i­tal of the world.

Aside from the of­fi­cial show­cases, you have day par­ties in ev­ery venue in town – and you also have spaces turned in to live venues for the du­ra­tion of the fes­ti­val. Cy­cling around east Austin last week, it seemed as if ev­ery build­ing or back­yard in the hood was host­ing some sort of live mu­sic event.

Aside from hun­dreds of new acts hop­ing to get no­ticed over the week, es­tab­lished acts use the Austin spring break – and the fact that ev­ery me­dia out­let on the planet seems to be here to cover SXSW – to plug a new al­bum or up­com­ing tour or take a big cor­po­rate pay cheque.

This ex­plains why SXSW’s mu­si­cal fix

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