SXSW Offers Music, Art at Annual Festival

Perry Jamail, Reporter

The city of Austin was crammed to its max over spring break while it hosted the annual South by Southwest festival, where people from across the globe came to enjoy music, famous public speakers and a variety of conferences.  

South by Southwest (SXSW) can be a confusing festival to navigate, with six different types of activities to participate in during the festival, including a gaming conference, film festival screenings and a comedy festival.

The highlight of SXSW for most was the wide mixture of bands and music genres presented at the festival, with over 20 different types of music and over one-thousand music performers in Austin during spring break. Junior Eric Melendez attended this year’s SXSW festival and participated in some of the music venues the festival had to offer included many rappers. Melendez was able to attend performances by OT Genasis, Gucci Mane and lil Yatchy, and has some suggestions for those who are interested in similar performances during future SXSW festivals.

“If you are interested in the rap stuff, then the platinum pass is best for you,” Melendez said.

The platinum pass was the highest pass the festival had to offer. The platinum pass is used for beating the crowds of SXSW to attend the most popular venues at the festival. Melendez accounts his experience with the pass.

“I had a platinum pass so [the crowd] wasn’t as bad,” Melendez said.

Art galleries and many variety of arts and artists were also popular events during the festival. SXSW had a wide range of different artist and art styles, all the way from printer Cleon Peterson to surreal artist David Lynch. Teacher Leslie Lippe attended a few of these art galleries during the festival.

“I went to the Austin Convention Center and the flatstock poster art show is there,” Lippe said, “It’s artists that do poster art from all over the world that come to town and show their work.”

Along with plenty of popular, paid-for events that take up most of the festival, SXSW also offers a way for people to enjoy the festivities in downtown Austin without emptying their wallets by including a selection of  events and activities for the general public to participate in completely for free. Sophomore Jordan Deyo attended events hosted by Waterloo records where she participated in a completely free music venue that included many different bands and music genres.

“There were a lot of sponsor booths giving out free stuff,” Deyo said. “‘Monster’ was giving out free drinks and people were giving out stickers and lots of cool stuff. I only spent $20 the entire day and that was on food.”

The annual SXSW festival at Austin has a plethora of events, venues and conferences to enjoy, ranging from free music festivals all the way to art venues and galleries.

“I think [SXSW] is a wonderful opportunity for the local community and the worldwide community to see the different talent from around the world and emerging artists from around the world,”  Lippe said.