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SXSW Preview: Four Festivals, 10 Days, 2,000+ Performers, and Two People Escaping the Snow!

SXSW 2019 Preview Music In Minnesota
SXSW 2019 will take place in Austin, Texas from March 8th - 17th

Music In Minnesota is heading South! And… West? Mostly just South for us! Whatever, it doesn’t matter, we’re going to South By Southwest 2019 and we’re extremely excited to be included in this year’s event!

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with South By Southwest, or recognize the “SXSW” abbreviation but might be unsure of what the event actually is, here’s a brief overview:


South By Southwest dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. An essential destination for global professionals, the event features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together.


Each year in Austin, Texas, the SXSW Music Festival brings together the global music industry alongside film and technology professionals to make personal and business connections as well as discover the next generation of talent.

Not limited in genre or regional focus, fans, fellow musicians, industry professionals, and creatives from every discipline can enjoy a variety of musical styles at SXSW. Each year, new, developing, and established Showcasing Artists from 60+ countries are represented among the 2,000-plus official performers looking to enhance their careers by reaching new audiences.

Showcases are curated by SXSW in collaboration with record labels, booking agencies, management and PR firms, export offices, publishers, media outlets, lifestyle brands, festivals, and more. Performances take place in bars, clubs, parks, churches, and hotels around downtown Austin.

Simply put, SXSW is the largest music festival of its kind in the entire world, and Music In Minnesota is delighted to be traveling to Austin, Texas next week to cover the event and have the opportunity to see some of the best and brightest stars of our industry perform!

SXSW Schedule
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SXSW Schedule Breakdown

What To Do:

Keynotes & Featured Speakers – At the crux of each day’s SXSW Conference there are hour-long keynotes. These presentations, given by some of the creative and tech industries’ most inspired thinkers, cover a wide range of compelling topics. They feature speakers from the Interactive, Film, Music, and Convergence Tracks. The SXSW Conference will include 13 total keynote speakers throughout the event.

Festivals – SXSW Festivals offer a unique opportunity to explore the worlds of Interactive, Film, Music, and Comedy with parties, awards, screenings, and showcases.

  • Interactive Festival: Provides a variety of compelling evening networking experiences that complement the many learning opportunities at the SXSW Conference.
  • Film Festival: Celebrates raw innovation and emerging talent from both behind and in front of the camera. Featuring provocative dramas, documentaries, comedies, genre standouts, and more, the festival has become known for the high caliber and diversity of films presented, and for its smart, enthusiastic audiences.
  • Music Festival: Invites artists, industry professionals, and fans from all over the world to Austin, Texas for a week every March to attend performances by iconic artists, make professional connections, elevate their musical careers, and discover the next wave of musical talent.
  • Comedy Festival: Growing from a one-night celebration of comedy’s biggest names into a week-long whirlwind of a festival, the SXSW Comedy Festival presents uniquely diverse programming that highlights exceptional emerging and established talent.

Conference – The SXSW Conference provides an opportunity for global professionals at every level to participate, network, and advance their careers. Featuring a variety of tracks that allow attendees to explore what’s next in the worlds of film, culture, music, and technology, SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together.

Exhibitions – From March 8–16, SXSW hosts many distinctly different exhibitions that connect people from all over the world. In addition to providing a platform for the most groundbreaking and diverse panels, sessions, and festivals, SXSW hosts many different world-class exhibitions.

SXSW Keynote
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SXSW 2018 Keynote, Sadiq Khan – Photo by Randy & Jackie Smith

Why is Music In Minnesota going?

Music In Minnesota was graciously given two music badge’s for this year’s event, and we intend on using those badges to consume as much live music as humanly possible! With over 2,000 official music performances, by artists from over 60 countries, there will be no shortage of live music for us to check out, and we hope to be able to get an early glimpse of some of the artists that will be taking the world by storm next year!

Of course, being Music In MINNESOTA, performances from artists that call Minnesota home will be an emphasis. Lucky for us, this year’s SXSW Music Festival is full of artists who come from this great state! Below are a few you might want to check out!

The Shackletons: Mar 16, 2019, 12:00 am — 12:40 am at The Velveeta Room

  • The Shackletons are a rock band out of the Twin Cities writing and playing songs rooted in the rich influence of the “Minnesota Sound.” The band consists of Colin Campbell (vocals/guitar), his older brother, Cameron (Bass), and younger brother Evan (Drums/miscellaneous screaming). Living a double life as both a knee-buckling indie rock band as well as a stomp your-foot-through-the-floor blues band, The Shackletons have been generating buzz throughout the Twin Cities and Midwest.

Gaelynn Lea: Mar 16, 2019, 10:00 pm — 10:40 pm at The Hideout

  • When Gaelynn Lea won NPR Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest, her two decades as a hardworking and talented musician finally crystallized in a beautiful moment of national recognition. It was also just the beginning of a grand adventure. Since then, Gaelynn has played over 425 shows in 43 states and seven countries, adding over 100,000 miles to their Ford Econoline’s odometer. Yet somehow between this perpetual blitz of performances, Gaelynn also managed to release her third full-length album in September 2018.

Bad Bad Hats: Mar 13, 2019, 11:45 pm — 12:25 am at Palm Door On Sixth

  • Bad Bad Hats is an indie rock band from Minneapolis. The band consists of Kerry Alexander, Chris Hoge, and Connor Davison. Their music honors classic pop songwriting, with nods to 90s rock simplicity and pop-punk frivolity. Through it all, Alexander’s unflinchingly sincere lyrics cut to the emotional heart of things. The band’s sophomore LP, Lightning Round, was released August 3rd, 2018. Producer and collaborator Brett Bullion (who also produced their debut album Psychic Reader) encouraged the group to record live in the studio, an approach which lends many songs on the record a loose, organic feel.

BdotCroc: Mar 16, 2019, 9:20 pm — 9:35 pm at The Main

  • Brynne Crockett, whose stage name is BdotCroc, is a rap artist who was born and raised in North Minneapolis. She has been in rap since the tender age of eight, in which she was always displaying her talent in her great grandmother’s basement doing a rap battle with her cousins. As a rap artist, BdotCroc always looks for ways she can make music connect with the audience and leave a mark of a lasting impression on the audience.

There will also be plenty of Minnesota-based professionals giving other types of presentations on a variety of topics over the next two weeks at SXSW as well! A few of those include:

  • Shahbaz Khan, Senior Manager of Digital Content for the Minnesota Timberwolves & Lynx
  • Erik Nelson, Executive Producer of Digital Content for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx
  • Marissa Suiter, Program Director- Events and Activities at the University of Minnesota
  • Beth Gendler, Executive Director – National Council of Jewish Women – Minnesota
  • Sean Leighton, Vice President of Food Safety & Quality for Cargill

Keep an eye on Music In Minnesota’s social media pages to stay up to date on everything we see and do in Austin next week! And also watch out for all content that Managing Editor, Justin Bailey, and Photojournalist, Kelsey Geiger, publish when we get back!

Written by Justin Bailey

Managing Editor & Social Media Admin for Music In Minnesota. Graduated Valedictorian of my class from IPR - College of Creative Arts with an A.A.S. in Music & Entertainment Business. ICON Award Winner. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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