Country Music at 2013 South By Southwest
photos by Lisa A. Walker
As we’ve all heard, everything is bigger in Texas. The South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and festival, held in Austin every spring, offers nearly two weeks of music, film and interactive components for aspiring artists, industry insiders and fans alike.
On the musical side, SXSW is the largest festival of its kind anywhere in the world. Fans and registrants have the opportunity to see more than 2,000 different artists performing at 100 clubs in the Austin area. Artists range from emerging talents like Striking Matches to veteran performers like Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, in all genres, from rock ’n’ roll to hip-hop to electronic dance music to country and beyond.
The 2013 musical edition of SXSW, which ran March 12–17, featured performances from Emmylou and Rodney as well as Bobby Bare, Shooter Jennings, Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale, Ashley Monroe, Turnpike Troubadours and many others. Additionally, attendees were treated to a keynote speech and presentation from Foo Fighters frontman (and former Nirvana drummer) Dave Grohl. Previous keynote speakers have included Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Smokey Robinson.
The interactive component of SXSW featured panel discussions and presentations on digital gaming, as well as a speech by Al Gore. Film conference-goers got to see screenings of numerous new films, such as the Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon feature Mud, which got a wider theatrical release in April.
Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, mark your calendars, because the musical component of SXSW 2014 is already scheduled for March 11–16.