The 2008 SXSW Music Conference held at the Austin Convention Center will feature over 70 panel discussions, interviews, demo listening sessions and the SXSW mentor program. The daytime program of educational, informative and entertaining presentations is a core component of the event which covers business and creative issues in music. Highlights will include: Lou Reed’s Keynote Interview on Thursday, March 13 at 10:30 am; SXSW Interviews featuring Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks on Wednesday, March 12; Seymour Stein, president of Sire Records; Steve Reich & Thurston Moore in a joint session; and Johnny Rivers on Thursday, March 13; Louis Messina, founder of Pace concerts; Sean Moriarity, CEO of Ticketmaster; Mick Jones & Tony James on Friday, March 14; and Daryl Hall; and Ice Cube & DJ Pooh on Saturday, March 15. Panels will include: ‘Latin Music on Tour in the US and Europe;’ ‘Through the Lens: Photographers on Musicians;’ ‘Widening Hip Hop’s Global Reach; ‘Resolving Webcaster Fees;’ and ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green.’ Wednesday, March 12 is a jam packed day with a series of ‘Music Biz 101’ sessions designed to give an overview of topics essential to developing artists and music business professionals with titles such as ‘Tour Smart (with Martin Atkins), ‘Red Flags In Artist Contracts,’ and ‘Web-Based Promotion & Distribution.’ In addition, five hour-long ‘Crash Courses’ will be offered on the following topics ‘How To Use Social Networks,’ ‘Management,’ ‘Licensing and Royalty Income,’ ‘Press and Publicity’ and ‘Accounting Basics.’ Rounding out the conference are Demo Listening sessions that offer registrants a chance to see how music is reviewed and reacted to by representatives from labels, venues, radio and the press and the Mentor Program that offers registrants ten minute meetings with panelists and industry pros. For a complete list of panel topics, descriptions and speakers, access the SXSW website at 2008.sxsw.com/music.
The SXSW Trade Show Exhibition, also in the convention center will host an array of events and exhibitors. The three day music trade show offers a unique opportunity for the performing bands and thousands of other industry professionals to meet in one-on-one scenarios and exchange information. Participating organizations from around the world including Brazil, Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and from every corner of the United States will be on hand to aid in broadening careers for both American and international bands and companies. The Indie Village presented by NAIL Distribution, with participation from independent labels and their artists, provides a great space for indie labels to do business and meet artists, media and fans. StudioSX, sponsored by OurStage, is where high profile music industry professionals will be interviewed in front of an audience on the trade show floor. Additionally, anyone needing to transact business while at the convention center, can go to the Dell E-mail/Web Center and wireless lounge. To prepare for the evening ahead there are two excellent opportunities to sample the nighttime offerings - The SESAC Day Stage Cafe and the KOSS Festival Preview Station. The SESAC Day Stage Café runs Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 am - 4:00 p.m. It will feature acoustic sets from bands that will be playing at the nighttime music festival. The KOSS Festival Preview Station features MP3’s from showcasing artists. An attraction for all performing bands is Nexon Showcasing Artist Lounge - a great place for artists to connect with others or just chill out. And finally, the South by Bookstore sponsored by Barnes & Noble Booksellers will feature notable SXSW registrants selling and signing books. A complete list of Exhibition participants with full web pages and direct links to each company is available at 2008.sxsw.com/tradeshow. During the day, the Austin Convention Center is the centerpiece for networking and business activities for anyone working in the music industry.
SXSW Music 2008 major sponsors provide critical support for the event and include Miller Lite, Fuze Beverage, Yaris, Dell, Independent Film Channel, Sonicbids, Citibank, DirecTV and founding sponsor the Austin Chronicle. Local electronic media sponsors include KLBJ-FM, KGSR, and 101X.
The top attraction though is, as always, the music. The SXSW Music Festival, which spans five nights, will present over 1700 musical acts on 80 stages in venues ranging from the most intimate clubs to the outdoor stage located at Auditorium Shores. The music starts on Wednesday, March 12 and runs through Sunday, March 16. A very small sampling of bands includes R.E.M. (Athens, GA), Van Morrison (Dublin, IRELAND), My Morning Jacket (Louisville, KY), Duffy (Wales, UK), N.E.R.D. (Virginia Beach, VA), The Ting Tings (Manchester, UK), Paramore (Franklin, TN), The Cool Kids (Chicago, IL), Chikita Violenta (Mexico City, MEXICO) and MGMT (Brooklyn, NY). The outdoor shows, at the Auditorium Shores Stage (Lady Bird Lake), are free to the public and take place for three days, Thursday, March 13 through Saturday, March 15. Thursday’s show starts at 6:00 p.m. and includes Austin’s own Grupo Fantasma and Spoon; Friday’s line-up also starting at 6:00 p.m. will be announced soon; Saturday’s show, will feature a full day with Strong Arm Steady, Jean Grae, Talib Kwell, Super Pal Universe, Christian Scott, Lyrics Born and Ice Cube. Media sponsors for the outdoor stage are KVUE, KLBJ-FM, KGSR, 101X and Hot 93.3. The Auditorium Shores Stage concerts are sponsored by Blackberry, Major League Baseball and Cirrus Logic.
Helping to kick off the SXSW Music Festival is the Twenty-sixth Annual Austin Music Awards at the Austin Music Hall on Wednesday, March 12 at 7:55 p.m. sharp. This year’s show features an array of only-in-Texas acts including South Carolina by Birth, Texas by Choice: The Songs of Walter Hyatt starring David Ball (of Uncle Walt’s Band), Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Warren Hood, the Belleville Outfit, Colin Gilmore, Taylor Hyatt, and Audrey Ball; San Marcos native Roy Head and American Idol finalist Sundance Head with Gene Kurtz, Burnin’ Mike Vernon, Mike Buck; Houston cult band The Judy’s (David Bean, Jeff Walton, and Dane Cessac); Honeydripper star Gary Clark, Jr.; and indie rock darlings Okkervil River performing with the legendary Roky Erickson. Registration badges and wristbands for SXSW include admission to the Austin Music Awards. The Music Awards are presented by The Austin Chronicle and SXSW and co-sponsored by 107.1 KGSR and is a benefit for the SIMS Foundation.
Growing in popularity, SXSW.mobi is a mobile destination with everything you need to enhance your on-the-go SXSW 2008 experience. Browse to SXSW.mobi from your mobile device or web-enabled phone to get up-to-date schedules, mp3s, video clips, podcasts, news and more. At SXSW.mobi you can find mp3s from bands playing the music festival as well as over 100 trailers from films playing the Film Festival. Go to: sxsw.mobi to find all of this year’s technical offerings.
SXSW SMS. Use text-messaging on your mobile to find out when a band or film is playing. There is no faster way to get the specific info you need to get to your next show. Also, sign up for SMS alerts to stay in-the-know. SXSW will send you alerts and updates so you don’t miss anything. On the web, go to 2008.sxsw.com/tools/sms. On your phone or PDA, go to sxsw.mobi/tools
The Online Registrant Directory, a searchable listing of music industry professionals attending the music conference, is available year round at SXSW.COM. The Mobile Registrant Directory is also available on SXSW.mobi for use on your smartphone. SXSW Music walk-up registration fee is $650. A Platinum pass which includes access to all three SXSW conferences - Music, Film and Interactive is $1050. Pre-registration prices started at $500 and $775, respectively, for those who were willing to sign up early.
On the green initiative front, SXSW is purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from the City of Austin to negate its carbon footprint of 263 tons generated by the company during the planning and delivery of its 2007 event. Austin Energy will retire 448 solar RECs on behalf of SXSW and use the proceeds from the sale to begin implementation of a local renewable energy project. One project under consideration is a solar charging station. The charging station would provide sufficient power to charge small devises such as cell phones and laptops, as well as electric scooters and bikes.
DIRECTV is once again taking South By Southwest to the living rooms of music fans around the globe with SXSWLive. March 12 - 15 (4pm to Midnight, Central Standard Time) Austin’s newest live music venues will feature 32 of the hottest bands and artists on the SXSW bill for a daily 8-hour live TV broadcast only on DIRECTV’s Channel 101. Artists confirmed thus far include Daryl Hall and Friends; Dizzee Rascal, Sia, Martha Wainright, Tift Merritt, Daniel Lanois, Sons & Daughters, and the Noisettes. All artists will perform a full 40-minute set at the newly created Lone Star Lounge & Bat Bar, custom built inside the Austin Convention Center. Check your pocket guide or the SXSW website for exact times and location. Admission will be available to all Conference registrants and wristband-holders. Complimentary tickets for the general public are available, space permitting.
A featured attraction also in the Austin Convention Center is The Flatstock Concert Poster Exhibition and Collectors Show sponsored by Rhino and presented by SXSW and the American Poster Institute (API) on Thursday and Friday, March 13 -14 from 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., and Saturday, March 15 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm. Over 125 poster artists representing decades of styles, colors and techniques will be selling and displaying their posters. Rhino will also present the sixth occasional Rhino Musical Aptitude Test (RMAT) on Friday, March 14 at 3:00 pm to registrants and the general public. It is an open book test lasting one hour and consists of 305 multiple-choice questions covering all genres of music except classical. Cool prizes and eternal bragging rights will be awarded.
The 2008 SXSW Golf Tournament will take place at Circle C Golf Club on Wednesday, March 12 at 12:00 p.m. (Shotgun Start). The format will be Four-Person “Texas” Scramble. This year it benefits The Folk Alliance. Sponsored by ASCAP & SXSW. For more information, please call 901/522-1170 or folk.org.
The annual SXSW Barbecue & Softball Tournament gets underway Sunday, March 16, at Monroe “Lefty” Krieg Fields. Player warm-up begins at noon, with the first game starting at 1:00 pm sharp. For those who prefer to socialize rather than exercise, there’s authentic Texas Barbecue with all the trimmings prepared by Ruby’s Barbecue (with all natural, free-range beef). Vegetarians need not despair though, Ruby’s does great vegetarian options, also. This event is for SXSW registrants only and is a great opportunity for that final one-on-one conversation.
SXSW Music Conference is co-sponsored by a network of 41 regional arts and entertainment magazines from across the United States and Canada. SXSW 2008 welcomes Baltimore Citypaper (Baltimore, MD), Black & White (Birmingham, AL), Boston’s Weekly Dig (Boston, MA), Cincinnati CityBeat (Cincinnati, OH), City Pages (Minneapolis, MN), Cleveland Scene (Cleveland, OH), Dallas Observer (Dallas, TX), Denver Westword (Denver, CO), Flagpole Magazine (Athens, GA), Fort Worth Weekly (Fort Worth, TX), Houston Press (Houston, TX), Inland Empire Weekly, (Corona, CA), Independent Weekly (Durham, NC), LA Weekly (Los Angeles, CA), Las Vegas City Life, (Las Vegas, NV), Memphis Flyer (Memphis, TN), Miami New Times (Miami, FL), Nashville Scene (Nashville, TN), New Times Broward Palm Beach (Ft Lauderdale, FL), Nightflying (Little Rock, AR), NOW Magazine (Toronto, ON), OC Weekly (Santa Ana, CA), OffBeat Magazine (New Orleans, LA), Orlando Weekly (Orlando, FL), Philadelphia Weekly, (Philadelphia, PA), Phoenix New Times (Phoenix, AZ), The Pitch (Kansas City, MO), Portland Mercury (Portland, OR), The Reader (Omaha, NE), Riverfront Times (St. Louis, MO), Salt Lake City Weekly (Salt Lake City, UT), San Antonio Current (San Antonio, TX), San Diego CityBeat (San Diego, CA), Seattle Weekly (Seattle, WA), SF Weekly (San Francisco, CA), Shepherd Express (Milwaukee, WI), Tucson Weekly (Tucson, AZ), Urban Tulsa Weekly (Tulsa, OK), Village Voice (New York, NY), Weekly Alibi (Albuquerque, NM), Weekly Volcano (Lakewood, WA). SXSW co-sponsors provide support for promotional activities and musical events in connection with the conference.