South By Southwest has long been a Texas vacation destination for indie music fans and while emerging bands are still the focus of the fest, this year’s events have marked a growing focus on technology and social awareness. It’s only midway through SXSW (which is from March 10th through 19th) and already it’s been home to political controversies, creative conversations, and of course, music parties.
This year the visas of several band members set to play SXSW were rejected due to Trump’s latest travel ban which bans immigration and travel from six Muslim majority countries. So far rousing speeches have been given by leading figures at SXSW. Former VP Joe Biden gave a moving statement in support of cancer research, suggesting that the issue is the “only bi-partisan” thing left in the United States.” On Sunday, Transparent creator, Jill Soloway delivered a keynote speech that address the question, “Why aren’t there more woman directors?” Additionally, Soloway spoke at Tumblr and Planned Parenthood’s “Never Going Back” rally on the same day. Attended by more than 2,000 people, the rally also featured a speech by Chloe Grace Moretz and six hours of music performances from PVRIS, who was featured in The Untitled Magazine’s #GirlPower Issue, and many more. Last month Tumblr donated $80,000 to Planned Parenthood and on March 10th they announced an initiative to gather tech industry support for the organization which is under fire from the Trump administration. Other awaited SXSW speakers include Kesha who will discuss how women can reclaim the internet on March 14th and Nile Rodgers on the 15th.
You’ve got to have a good work-play balance and that’s where the SXSW parties come in. After a day of techy talks on Tuesday, lucky attendees can head to Spin’s annual day event which features a performance by rapper Lil Yachty. That night Spin also hosts a party featuring Real Estate and Sleigh bells. Fader Fort remains a go-to locale for the latest hip hop, indie, and R n’ B acts. So far, the most exciting name attached to the event is Lizzo but there may be more to come – Drake showed up for a surprise show last year. Alternatively, country legend Willie Nelson will host an offshoot festival throughout SXSW’s run. His fest, called Luck Reunion, boasts a lineup that includes Conor Oberst and Margo Price.
Some of our favorite musicians set to play at SXSW in the upcoming days are Anna Wise, Solange, Madame Ghandi, Ryan Adams, Weezer, Future Islands, Jimmy Eat World, Mastodon, Wu-Tang Clan, Migos, ASAP Ferg, The New Pornographers, The Avett Brothers, Real Estate, Grandaddy, …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Sleigh Bells, M. Ward, Third Eye Blind, Banks, Jamila Woods, Noname, Jidenna, Saba, Rae Sremmurd, Slyvan Esso, Robyn Hitchcock, Hamilton Leithauser, D.R.A.M., Talib Kweli, Tinashe, Poliça, The Black Angels, Bleached, Deap Vally, Jay Som, Kevin Morby, Le Butcherettes, Pharmakon, Alex Wiley, and Francis and the Lights. Head over to the official website for the full lineup.