Things changed here in April 2019. Because of COVID-19 travel restrictions and show and festival cancellations, no new content has been added here since February 2020.
To connect with us, visit us on Facebook and Twitter.
SXSW 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2018 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: new tech and the war on format, journalism and PR, and royalties and copyright (Music Conference panel overview, part 4 of 4)

 
By on Thursday, 10th March 2016 at 1:00 pm
 

Editor’s note: We’ve made some exciting changes to our annual TGTF Guide to SXSW this year! In addition to the music showcase portion of the guide that you are likely already familiar with, we’ll also be bringing you our picks of the best of the conference panel programming for the convention side of SXSW Music. The SXSW Music Conference is divided into 12 general categories of panels, called tracks, and we have divided our panel coverage into four separate articles, each highlighting a different sections of panel content. This is part four of our four-part preview. If you missed the earlier parts of our panel preview series, you can click here to find them.

Music Tech and Format Wars
The music technology track at SXSW 2016 features a wide variety of session topics, ranging from general interest to increasingly specific discussions regarding new modes of music delivery. In the general category, we find Catch the Wave: The Industry’s Transition into Tech on Wednesday 16th March and Music 2020: How We Can Change the Future on Thursday 17th March. The more specialised end of the spectrum includes a Wednesday 16th March panel titled How 3D Printing Can Transform the Music Business.

Monetisation, the topic in the back of everyone’s mind, comes into play with Innovation in Digital Music & Making Streaming Pay on Wednesday 16th March and Music Content Value in a Post-Ownership Age, scheduled for Thursday 17th March. On a related note, the war on leaked and pirated music will be addressed on Friday the 18th of March in Digital Distribution & Security: The End of Piracy, which will center around promotional distribution platforms such as the ones we often use for music reviews here at TGTF.

Thursday the 17th of March will see two niche panels, Preservation Tips for DIY Labels and Indie Bands, and Goodbye to Your Tunes: Tech’s Race to Save Music. These will focus on music recorded in past and current formats (think cassettes, CDs and MP3s) and trying to keep it available as new formats become standard. The beloved vinyl record format will be discussed in its own right on Saturday 19th March, in a forward-looking panel titled Where Will the Vinyl Industry be in 2018?. True audiophiles will rejoice over Listening in High Definition: Future Music Consumption on Wednesday 16th March and Hi-Res Audio in Every Earbud on Thursday 17th March.

PR, Journalism and Media

This track of the Music Conference is loaded with Mentor Sessions for publicists, writers and artists themselves, as well as a Featured Session with guest speaker Jessica Hopper regarding feminism in the music industry. For more information about Jessica Hopper and her panel presentation on that topic, have a look back at our feature on feminism at SXSW 2016 right back here.

How to Get Heard When No One’s Heard of You, scheduled for Wednesday 16th March, and Thursday 17th March workshop DIY Music PR: The Secrets of Pitching Your Band, will talk about pitching music to mid-level blogs and reviewers (like TGTF!). No Basic Pitches: Publicity by the Journalists takes a unique perspective in examining the very fluid relationship between artist PRs and music journalists.

Bob Boilen

Bob Boilen, courtesy of Meg Vogel/NPR

NPR’s Bob Boilen examines music marketing from another unique perspective in The Recording Industry Hates Grownups on Friday the 18th of March. Along with guest panelist Jim Fusilli of the Wall Street Journal, Boilen explores the idea of marketing to the over-40 age demographic, which he suggests is under-represented in the industry.

Royalties and Copyright
Monetisation (again!) is the underlying focus of this conference track, which examines the relationships among the music industry, related private organisations, and government. Hot topics here include Making Streaming Royalties Fair(er) on Wednesday the 16th of March and Fair Music: Transparency in the Music Industry on Friday the 18th. For the artists themselves, two Friday 18th March workshops, The Revenue Stream Roadmap for Songwriters and YouTube: Stop Complaining and Start Monetizing!, offer some guidance on how to make music pay.

Advocacy for artists’ rights will also be a popular topic, with the role of Music Rights Organisations being explored in two panels, Music Rights Organizations (MRO): What Are They? on Wednesday 16th March and One Rights Society To Rule Them All: Meet The GMRO on Friday 18th March. Wednesday 16th March panel The New Artist Rights Grassroots Advocacy will feature guest speaker David Lowery from artist rights blog The Trichordist, and Thursday 17th March session Advocating for Musicians: Why DC Matters will focus on public and governmental advocacy.

As with Music Festival showcasing artists, Music Conference panels are subject to change. For complete information on Music Conference tracks at SXSW 2016, including updated panel listings and scheduling information, you can consult the official SXSW 2016 Web site by clicking here.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: syncing and publishing, experiencing music live, and fan engagement (Music Conference panel overview, part 3 of 4)

 
By on Tuesday, 8th March 2016 at 1:00 pm
 

Editor’s note: We’ve made some exciting changes to our annual TGTF Guide to SXSW this year! In addition to the music showcase portion of the guide that you are likely already familiar with, we’ll also be bringing you our picks of the best of the conference panel programming for the convention side of SXSW Music. The SXSW Music Conference is divided into 12 general categories of panels, called tracks, and we have divided our panel coverage into four separate articles, each highlighting a different sections of panel content. This is part three of our four-part preview. If you missed the earlier parts of our panel preview series, you can click here to find them.

Licensing, Syncs, and Publishing
This track is all about the benjamins, exploring practical ways for musicians to monetise their craft. In the digital age, the avenues are practically limitless, and artists, publishers and record labels are all competing for a piece of the pie. The more banal panel topics on this track include such self-explanatory titles as Mailbox Money: Making Money in Music Publishing on Wednesday 16 March and Latest Trends and Tips in YouTube Monetization, scheduled for the following day.

But this track also explores facets of the music business that are not as immediately obvious as recording and touring, specifically composing for film, television and advertising, along with publishing and licensing for those ventures. There is a general panel called Creating Custom Songs for Film, TV, Trailers & Ads, on Thursday 17 March as well as several more specifically focused workshops. I’d Like to Teach the World: Music Supervise an Ad, scheduled for Friday 18 March, promises a hands-on workshop experience in creating music for commercial use. Covers & Remixes & Customs – All You Need to Know, on the docket for Thursday 17 March, discusses the customisation of music for movie trailers, such as the one below for recent film ‘The Finest Hours’, featuring Snow Patrol’s 2009 track ‘The Lightning Strike’.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/Fa6da-yU6Qo[/youtube]

Live Music, Touring & Festival Experiences
As stated in the panel description for Bringing Out Your Fans in the Digital Age, “touring is now the main income source for many artists, and also an important platform to develop and break artists.” On this Friday 18 March panel, guest speaker Zeeshan Zaidi, General Manager of Artist Services at Ticketmaster, will address the all-important question of how to encourage fans to attend live gigs, perhaps also touching on the rather discouraging but widespread practice of ticket scalping. On a tangential subject, the Wednesday 16 March panel Does Social Media Make Concerts Better? examines the prevalence of social networking while attending gigs and how it relates to the overall live music experience.

In the interest of broadening the scope of live performance beyond the confines of physical locality, there are two panels scheduled to discuss broadcasting live events via television and streaming, Concerts & Festivals: Television vs. Streaming, and Livestreaming Events: Past, Present & Future, both on Thursday 17 March. By contrast, live attendance and personal experience are the focus of two Friday 18 March panels, Music Curation Through Artist Festivals and Global Festivals and Their Locales.

Perhaps most relevant to a city like Austin is Small Live Music Venues: Who Needs Them Anymore?, scheduled for Saturday 19 March. The bustling downtown music scene in the Texas capitol surely makes a strong affirmative case. That workshop might be a good follow-up to one of the Thursday 18 March evening panels, David & Goliath: Thriving as Independent Promoters, where Stephen Chilton of Arizona’s Psyko Steve Presents will be featured as a guest panelist. I can personally vouch for some of the shows Chilton has presented at small venues in my local area, including Frank Turner at The Pressroom in Phoenix last October.

Marketing and Fan Engagement
Tangential to the above Live Music track, this category features panels relating to how artists reach new fans and retain already established ones. Thursday 17 March panel Stream to Ticket: Mapping the Value of Discovery focuses on the live music experience as the basis of music sales and seeks to capitalise on that trend. The Influence of UK Fandoms, scheduled for Wednesday 16 March, is a panel near and dear to our own hearts here at TGTF. It promises to challenge the idea that America is the gold standard for music success, citing The Beatles and One Direction as obvious examples of UK artists who carried their appeal across the pond, as well as American acts like Haim who broke first in the UK before gaining recognition at home.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/Ho32Oh6b4jc[/youtube]

Panels dealing with Internet and social media marketing strategies abound, including The Art of Impactful Content: Standing Out in 2016 on Friday 18 March, How Major Labels Build Rockstar-Worthy Websites on Thursday 17 March, and Modern SEO for Bands and Brands, with SEO being short for Search Engine Optimisation, also scheduled for Thursday. Not to be left out, another Thursday session titled Radio Re-tuned for the Music Ecosystem features Radio Disney General Manager Phil Guerini discussing how the seemingly archaic radio format is adapting to compete in the ever-evolving multimedia music context.

Stay tuned for the fourth and final installment of our Music Conference panel preview, which posts this Thursday, the 10th of March. New panel discussions are still being added to the schedule and as always, the panel schedule is subject to change. For complete, updated information on Music Conference tracks at SXSW 2016, click here.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: music discovery and delivery, genres and eras, and international issues (Music Conference panel overview, part 2 of 4)

 
By on Thursday, 3rd March 2016 at 1:00 pm
 

Editor’s note: We’ve made some exciting changes to our annual TGTF Guide to SXSW this year! In addition to the music showcase portion of the guide that you are likely already familiar with, we’ll also be bringing you our picks of the best of the conference panel programming for the convention side of SXSW Music. The SXSW Music Conference is divided into 12 general categories of panels, called tracks, and we have divided our panel coverage into four separate articles, each highlighting a different sections of panel content. This is part two of our four-part preview. If you missed the earlier parts of our panel preview series, you can click here to find them.

Discovery and Delivery
It’s definitely an interesting time for music discovery. When I was in high school, you found out about music on the radio and MTV. These days, you can go on Spotify, have a listen to what artists the service recommends you listen to, and you can also check out what your favourite artists are listening to and what playlists of favourites they’ve put together. No wonder there’s a session called The State of Alternative Radio: Where Do We Go From Here? The airwave real estate on which bands that would have appeared without a doubt on alt-rock stations 20 years ago is now being encroached on by more mainstream, top 40 artists (Friday 18 March). The panel called How Radio is Shaping the ‘Entertain Me’ Button (Thursday 17 March), then, makes sense as providing the possible solution in the form of interactive, ‘smart’ radio. And if radio leaves you cold, check out The Art of Creating the Perfect Playlist (Thursday 17 March) and Tastemakers: Music Curation and Merchandising (Wednesday 16 March).

Four sessions in this conference track will focus on labels and A&R and represent the diverse options available to current artists. While Atlantic Records bods will provide their advice about the traditional model, from their established patch, through the A&R: The Craft of Making Records at a Major Labels panel on Friday 19 March, From Vine to Signed: The Future of A&R on Saturday 20 March will discuss how innovations in the social music space have changed talent discovery and how artists are signed. On Thursday 17 March will be the self-explanatory Creative Convergence: Artists as Labels, and what appears to be its sister session, Do Musicians Still Need Record Labels? to follow on Friday 18 March.

Genres and Eras
One of the smartest, special things about SXSW Music conference programming is that without fail, every year the organisers tap the incredible experience by music greats past in special keynotes and q&a sessions. 2016 is no exception. The keynote on Wednesday 16 March starring famed producer Tony Visconti will be particularly poignant, given his long-time association with the late David Bowie, including his work on the Berlin album trilogy. Want to relive the ‘80s? In the following hour at the convention center, you can head on over to USA Today reporter Mike Snider’s interview of female artist trailblazer Pat Benatar and her producer, songwriter husband Neil Giraldo. If you want to go even further back in time, you can do so on Thursday 17 March, when Dion – famed for his bewitching voice and megahits ‘Teenager in Love’, ‘Runaround Sue’ and ‘The Wanderer’ – will be chatting with The Orchard’s Richard Gottehrer about his career and his new album that will be out this year.

As described in Carrie’s preview of panels and showcasing artists with a feminist bent, Ann Powers will be chatting with Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, actress, and supporter of social causes Angelique Kidjo on Friday 18 March. If you’re in the mood for something left of centre by the time Saturday 20 March rolls around, SXSW has got that for you too: Canadian celebrity interviewer and all around crazy man Nardwuar the Human Serviette (who, for some inexplicable, amazing reason, is now following TGTF on Twitter) will be giving a talk and playing clips from his favorite audio and video interviews from his Video Vault.

Here now in the music liberation we feel and enjoy in the 21st century, we make take for granted that there were musical pioneers who came before that paved the way for the art we enjoy now. In Wardy Forty: When Dylan Met Woody, the untold story of Woody Guthrie’s life will be revealed, along with the pivotal moment when he met Bob Dylan and passed the torch for protest music, through photos, letters and the recollections of friends and family. No Future: 1976 and the Birth of Punk on Wednesday 16 March will discuss the importance of the Sex Pistols, Siousxie Sioux and the Banshees, the Slits and what the whole movement did for popular music as we know it.

We here at TGTF believe that the reported death of rock ‘n’ roll has been greatly exaggerated. However, for those conventioneers who wish to hear the many facets of this story, Back from the Dead: Is Rock & Roll on Life Support? is available to you. And indeed, who would be best to set this unfounded rumour to rest but the country that brought us Rammstein and The Scorpions? A Head Bangers Guide to Rock in Germany will bring you up to speed with the heavy metal scene in the Fatherland.

On the other side of the spectrum is a type of music that hasn’t been around nearly as long as folk, rock or punk but is ever growing in importance and influence. The genre of hip hop and the unique challenges its artists face get their due in the Can’t Tell Me Nothing: Independent Hip Hop (Thursday 17 March) and Understanding the Business of Christian Hip Hop (Friday 18 March) sessions.

International Issues
Music that might have once been confined to being spread to an originating band or artist’s home country or even region of a country now has the ability to be spread far and wide. Borders have dissolved, thanks to the internet. While the phenomenon of UK bands being discovered in America has just ramped up with this dissolution, things that might not ever have been possible – say, a fan club for a UK band starting up in the Philippines – prove the power and reach of the modern musical artist. But with the benefits of the far reach of the music industry comes additional, increasingly complicated obstacles for artists wanting to succeed.

The Real Book on Immigration for Musicians on Thursday 17 March looks to be one of the most useful sessions of SXSW Music this year, as it will touch on temporary work visas and other important immigration issues faced by bands, their management, and their staff. What else are bands worried about these days? Money, of course. Touring in Europe: Tax Obstacles (Friday 18 March) will address head on the half of Ben Franklin’s famous quote that we all dread but need to deal with.

Speaking of money, did you know that the EU are currently trying to develop new laws on how copyright will work within its confines? I sure didn’t. Seeing that Europe is a major market for music made in America and most everywhere else, it’s worth attending What is the EU Doing to My Music Rights? on Thursday 17 March if you’re interested in finding out what’s going to happen to your royalties there (and you should be paying attention).

With the great economic boom in Asia continuing on, it’s no wonder that the continent is looked upon with great interest as not only a place where artists can go and play to large, adoring crowds of fans. In Go East: Rising Force of the Greater China Market (Thursday 17 March), opportunities for Western artists to collaborate with those in the Far East will be explored. Developments in mobile music, e-commerce, and touring markets will also be under the microscope. India, expected to be a top 10 global market for this industry by 2019, will be the subject of its own panel on Saturday 20 March, The Opportunities in the Music Business in India.

Stay tuned for the third installment of our Music Conference panel preview. It posts next Tuesday, the 8th of March. New panel discussions are still being added to the schedule and as always, the panel schedule is subject to change. For complete, updated information on Music Conference tracks at SXSW 2016, click here.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: how-tos for the artists, and how to deal with brands and data (Music Conference panel overview, part 1 of 4)

 
By on Tuesday, 1st March 2016 at 1:00 pm
 

Since 2012, every year we’ve headed out to the behemoth of an event that is SXSW Music, we here at TGTF have published a series of posts dubbed The TGTF Guide to SXSW. In addition to all the introductions to bands scheduled to showcase in Austin, reviews of their music, and plenty of other good stuff related to these artists, the point of the posts that make up the guide was to provide you a bird’s eye view, if you will, of what was up ahead and to bring your attention to the amazing amount of talent on show that that descends on the city in central Texas mid-March every year.

This year in the Guide, in addition to the actual music showcase portion of the guide that you are likely already familiar with, we’ll also be bringing you our picks of the best of the conference panel and programming for the convention side of SXSW Music. The SXSW Music Conference this year is divided into 12 general categories of panels, called tracks. In this post of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016, I’ll give you a taste of what’s on offer to conference attendees in the first three of these tracks, with the next three tracks featuring in another post to follow soon. Carrie will follow with posts of her own for the Guide next week on the remaining six tracks.

Artist How-Tos
Having attended the convention portion of both The Great Escape in Brighton and Liverpool Sound City in past years, I’ve been aware that a reasonable number of badge holders to these events are musicians, eager to network and learn more about the industry that they have chosen to make a living with. Given the comparative higher expense to attend with a badge in Austin, I guess it never dawned on me that SXSW Music would have similar musician attendees. So I was surprised and very happy to see an entire track for this year’s event to be devoted to educating musicians on the things they need to know that they might not otherwise have thought about, while also providing hands-on help from knowledgeable folks in the industry.

Demo Listening and Pitch Sessions will be available Wednesday 16 March to Friday 18 March to selected artists who upload their demos digitally to be put in the running for a shot at being heard by A&R and management companies. If you’re looking for information on the recording and production side of things, the panels titled Why Recording Studios Still Matter, Alternative Recording Studios, and Pop Music Production will be of interest.

The importance of effective use of the internet as a promotional vehicle and associated digital strategies have become more important than ever to artists in this second decade of the 21st century. The internet never turns off, and in the 24/7/365 Promotion and the Always-On Artist panel talk (Thursday 17 March), this problem of always being ‘on’ and the need to continually engage the fans and public will be discussed. Music streaming, digital music trends and other digital marketing strategies in the context of unsigned vs. signed artists will also be reviewed by Heads of Digital departments from several indie record labels in Digital Strategies in Indie Music (Friday 18 March).

Band Website Extreme Makeover, Part 1 (Wednesday 16 March) is exactly what it sounds like: bands will submit their Web sites for “Reviews will be ruthless and diplomacy left aside”, all in the name of assisting the bands with constructive feedback to make their sites a more successful part of their promotions. And probably the most pragmatic panel on the Artist How-Tos track is You Can’t Pay Bills with Facebook Likes (earlier in the day on Wednesday), which will help artists explore how to go beyond what we used to know as the traditional financial model for musicians and bands into a truly sustaining career by “funding new work and translating fan enthusiasm into income.”

These and other panels on the Artist How-Tos track are currently listed here on the SXSW 2016 Schedule page.

Bands & Brands
Not so long ago, ‘selling out’ was seen as the ultimate mark of a musician’s denigration and desperation. American readers, we all remember that Burger King tv commercial that used Modern English’s ‘I Melt With You’ to sell a cheeseburger, and then we all groaned, right? These days, however, an artist’s aligning with a brand often not only makes good business sense, but also offers opportunities that might not otherwise be available. For the complete list of panels in this track on the SXSW 2016 Schedule, click here.

Talib Kweli, speaking at SXSW 2016 Music Conference

In The ‘Brand’ New Patrons session (Thursday 17 March), collaborative and integrative methods will be discussed as a means for bands to reach fans beyond those in play within a traditional record deal. For those artists keen on giving back to their fans and communities, Good is the New Cool on Wednesday 16 March is a good shout and could be seen as a sister panel to Music & Activism, Amplifying Your Voice for Social Good (later in the day on Wednesday) in the Artist How-Tos track. For artists with an entrepreneurial streak, What It Means to Start a Label in the Digital Age, which will include first-hand experiences from American hip hop recording artist and social activist Talib Kweli (Wednesday 18 March), will be right up your alley.

Data Dives
Data, like some parts of science, may not always be sexy. However, there is no escaping the fact that there is an incredible wealth of information about music and how it is consumed available out there, from basic metrics that all bands should be using to drive (Data Analytics for the Indie Artist, Friday 18 March) to a map of where music discovery and emotional intelligence of the Dalai Lama intersect (Discovering Maps of Music and Emotion, Wednesday 16 March). Yes, this track’s sessions are generally techie, geekout stuff, but interesting and thought-provoking nevertheless. For a full list of the sessions being offered in this track, go here.

This is just part 1 of 4 in our previewing of the SXSW 2016 Music Conference. The next installment will be live here on TGTF on Thursday, the 3rd of March. New panel discussions are still being added to the schedule and as always, the panel schedule is subject to change. For complete, updated information on Music Conference tracks at SXSW 2016, click here.

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us

Privacy Policy

Keep TGTF online for years to come!
Donate here.