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SXSW 2016: highlights from this year’s Music Conference programming – The Obamas, Tony Visconti, Richie Hawtin and the latest in song syncs

By on Monday, 28th March 2016 at 4:00 pm

2016 marked the 30th anniversary of SXSW and with reaching such a milestone, it just wouldn’t be right to not celebrate with appearances by some heavy hitters, right? And the Austin festival managed a one-two punch in his music conference programming by securing not only First Lady Michelle Obama but the President of the United States Barack Obama as well. The President delivered the keynote address during SXSW Interactive on Friday. Watch below as he discusses the importance of civic engagement and his support for new technologies.

SXSW Music Conference attendees did not miss out at all, as the First Lady graced the conference with her presence Wednesday, bringing along fellow influential ladies Missy Elliott and Queen Latifah, known as female pioneers of hip hop, and Diane Warren, famed for penning some of pop’s greatest hits in the history of popular music. The three of them were in Austin to promote the Let Girls Learn initiative, which will no doubt be one of Mrs. Obama’s enduring legacies long after she and her husband have left the White House. In the short clip below, she speaks on how she finds young people inspirational and disappoints a good many present in the room with her announcement that she won’t be running for public office in favour of taking care of her and Barack’s two young daughters.

The Obamas’ separate appearances to speak at SXSW 2016 caused considerable headache to both event staff and conference attendees alike. The understandable security around the First Lady created additional problems, delaying sessions and bringing frustration to people like me who like to keep to a schedule. Not aware that legendary producer Tony Visconti‘s keynote had been moved from Wednesday to Thursday was just another thing to throw a spanner in the works.

One wonders what was going in Visconti’s mind when he received the news that his speech would be delayed by a day due to a more famous, more important VIP. I also had to wonder if his selection was coincidental or done on purpose as a memoriam of sorts for the late David Bowie, with whom Visconti collaborated on and off with for nearly 5 decades. Knowing his audience well, he quipped early on that he’d be speaking about how he met Bowie soon enough, and he did. (Similarly witty stories were shared by Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo in another session Thursday afternoon, telling stories about Bowie and Iggy Pop that can’t be reprinted in a family-friendly publication. Mothersbaugh was in town during an exhibition of his art at the Contemporary.) Biographies in print are great of course, but for me, nothing can replace personal, first-hand anecdotes from the people that were there. That’s what makes interviews great for me, to truly be let into another creative’s world, to be let into the little secrets, and part of the fun is doing the research and trying to fit together someone’s pieces before you actually get to the interview and then let your interviewee go off in whatever director he or she wishes.

Hearing Visconti speak, in such a humourous, personable way, it makes total sense how he’s become such a famous producer and been confided in by not just Bowie (being one of the few dear people in his circle aware of his impending departure) but the late glam rock star Marc Bolan and someone as crotchety as Morrissey. Visconti is the kind of guy you wish you could knock a few beers back with because he’d make you feel at ease, but is ever so talented at what he can do in a recording studio, to be able to pull out the best from whoever he works with. And if that wasn’t enough, he is also a writer, sharing with the audience bits from his upcoming book The Universe, that paints a bleak picture of what music will be like in the future.

We can laugh but there’s also a sense of sad acceptance that the signs, the klaxons of warning in our industry have already rung out. “Your product is culture”, Visconti said in a matter-of-fact way, and he believes that boutique labels and self-releasing is a good but not great solution to the lack of support for true visionary artists. He, like us here at TGTF, want to see more quality in music and he gave a great example of going to the grocery store and having variety the kind of ketchup or bacon you want to buy. There isn’t one choice and there shouldn’t one choice in music in all the manufactured top 40 we’re hearing these days, either. Watch Visconti’s keynote in full below.

At a session for Convergence late Tuesday night, Canadian DJ vanguard Richie Hawtin spoke with Resident Advisor‘s North American editor Andrew Ryce (pictured at top) about his new performance mixer Play Differently, which has been a project he’s worked on for 2 years with Allen & Heath and Audiotonix. What I found most interesting about Hawtin’s responses – in additional to his clearly unwavering passion for DJaying and electronics – is that he’s not all about chasing the next big thing in electronic music.

You’d expect someone like him who’s into making the best sounds possible onstage to embrace every digital technology known to man, and indeed, he made everyone laugh when he air-manipulated an imaginary device he noted as “this is my girlfriend”. So it surprised me when said that he didn’t necessarily agree with digital DJaying as being the be all and end all, saying, “there shouldn’t be a formula to make music and play it…Follow who you are, and make the music *you* want to make.” In that respect, I felt this view of Hawtin’s echoed Tony Visconti said about tapping into culture and talent and going beyond just mere technology. It gives me great hope personally that these titans of the industry still believe that even in spite to everything distracting and potentially detrimental to our business, the cream should and will always rise to the top. Have a watch of Hawtin’s Q&A with Ryce below.

A topic that has been of interest to me for a long time is the business of song syncs and how one goes from a composer who writes specifically for or has already written a song for a particular commercial use to that composer and any deserving middleman earning money off of the song’s use. As record sales have dwindled in the face of music piracy, song syncing is no longer looked upon as the selling out it once did. And in many cases these days, such syncs have enabled artists to continue working where they might have otherwise run out of money.

Among the many panels on the subject of syncs in this year’s music conference programming, there were two in particular that caught my eye. In the session Creating Custom Songs for Film, TV, Trailers & Ads on Thursday, the emphasis was on the composer side, with the panelists making suggestions to the prospective songwriters in the audience on how to market and indeed, possibly direct their writing to get the best chance for a sync. It was intriguing to me that Josh Collum of Sorted Noise recommended writers to focus on songs about home and coming home, as they’re perennially needed and used across film and TV. Who knew? Meanwhile, Phillip Phillips with his 43 million YouTube views is laughing all the way to the bank…

On the other side and in more specific, the placement of songs in TV was explored Friday in the session entitled TV Promos: Sync’s New Best Friend. Going on from a similar session at Norwich Sound and Vision 2015 last October, it is mind-bogglingly amazing to me that one of the biggest recommendations to fledging artists these days to land a sync is to record good quality, unique cover versions of popular songs. The idea is that because the original song by the original artist will be too expensive and therefore out of reach or too complicated a permission for most copyright clearance offices to negotiate, a music supervisor will instead go for a cover that costs less money, and as a win for the little indie musician, the musician gets paid. Score! A specific example from Joe Berman of MediaHorse brought even more hope: a cover of an Elvis Presley song was deemed too risky, as Presley’s estate had to agree to its use even as a cover, but in a shock turn of events, Priscilla Presley herself liked the cover Berman’s client was putting forward, and it’s now being used in an advert for The Bachelor and for Trojan condoms. So you see, dreams can and do come true…

I look forward to seeing what keynotes and panels are in store for us in the 31st year of SXSW Music. I wish to thank Elizabeth and her team at SXSW Music Press for granting me a badge for the purposes of covering both the conference and music showcases this year in 2016.


TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: a further roundup of our conference and festival coverage to date

By on Monday, 14th March 2016 at 12:00 pm

Whilst being stuck on a plane (not moving, then moving) for way too many hours on Saturday, I had a lot of time to think. And I thought, hmm, maybe some of you out there might be true procrastinators, not having paid attention to any of the programming on top for SXSW 2016, whether it be the conference panels, the music showcases, or both. For those of you waiting until the last possible minute to firm up your schedules or maybe you’re the type who likes to fly by the seat of your pants (trousers?), this post summarises everything SXSW 2016 we’ve posted since my last roundup of articles on the 22nd of February, which you can view here.

Follow us on Twitter at @tgtf and individually on @theprintedword (me, Mary) and @VocalicPage (Carrie) for more live updates from Austin as they happen. Use this link to access all of our SXSW 2016 content, including post-event coverage.

longhorn in our back garden, SXSW 2016

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016 overview posts on the conference (an additional 5):

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)

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

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Feminism at this year’s festival’s forefront

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

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)

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016 overview posts on the British Music Embassy showcases and a focus on regional acts (an additional 5):

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Huw Stephens with PRS for Music and British Music @ SXSW at the British Music Embassy – 15th-16th March 2016

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Output Belfast, and PIAS in association with AIM at the British Music Embassy – 17th March 2016

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Welsh artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Scottish artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Artists from Ireland and Northern Ireland showcasing at this year’s SXSW

Bands to Watch previews of SXSW 2016 showcasing artists (an additional 5 acts profiled):

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #382: The Sherlocks

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #383: Autobahn

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #384 and #385: Jane Weaver and Holly Macve

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #386: Frances

Album Reviews Featuring SXSW 2016 Artists (an additional 4):

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Album Review: Brian Fallon – Painkillers

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Album Review: Lissie – My Wild West

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Album Review: The Dunwells – Light Up the Sky (Update: The Dunwells have since announced they won’t be showcasing at this year’s SXSW.)

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Album Review: Roo Panes – Paperweights

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions (10)

Quickfire Questions #97: Pat Hynes of Holy Esque

Quickfire Questions #98: Tommy O’Dell of DMA’s

Quickfire Questions #99: Banners

Quickfire Questions #100: Noemi of Abjects

Quickfire Questions #101: Violet Skies

Quickfire Questions #102: Tyla Campbell of The People The Poet

Quickfire Questions #103: Gwenno

Quickfire Questions #104: Avec Sans

Quickfire Questions #105: Oscar

Quickfire Questions #106: Oli Burslem of YAK

Miscellaneous Features Starring SXSW 2016 Artists (an additional 3):

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2024: Oscar

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2025: Holy Esque

(Charity and SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2032: Lissie


TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: Artists from Ireland and Northern Ireland showcasing at this year’s SXSW

By on Friday, 11th March 2016 at 12:00 pm

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2016 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

As in past years, SXSW 2016 will feature a wide array of artists from Ireland and Northern Ireland who are keen to bring their music to American listeners. This year’s lineup revisits several artists who have graced Austin’s stages in recent memory, including veterans BP Fallon and the Bandits, who were featured last year in our TGTF Guide to SXSW 2015, and SXSW 2014 showcasing artists Cian Nugent and September Girls, both of whom have new albums due for release later this spring.


We at TGTF have already covered Belfast singer/songwriter David C Clements in an earlier Bands to Watch article right back here. We also recently highlighted many of the Northern Irish artists on the schedule in editor Mary’s Output Belfast preview, including TGTF alums Girls Names, Portadown’s Jealous of the Birds and her fellow County Armagh act Silences.

Also briefly mentioned in Mary’s Output Belfast preview was alt-folk singer/songwriter Ciaran Lavery, who is shaping up to be one of the most sought-after acts in Austin this year. His back catalogue comprises debut album ‘Not Nearly Dark’ and 2014 EP ‘Kosher’. Having already received support from the PRS for Music Foundation for his upcoming second album ‘Let Bad In’, Lavery hopes to gain a fan base in America ahead of its release in May.


The organizers at SXSW have filed Enemies in the Rock category, but the band describe themselves more accurately as “post-rock meets math-pop”. Their upbeat and slightly jazzy new single ‘Play Fire’ was released last August on Topshelf Records.


Dublin rapper Alex Anyaegbunam is known on stage by the moniker Rejjie Snow. The latest track on his official Soundcloud is ‘Keep Your Head Up’; be warned—it’s smooth and soulful, but its lyrics are not entirely safe for sensitive ears.

Precocious teenaged singer/songwriter Rosie Carney is originally from Hampshire, UK, but now makes her home in County Donegal. She collaborated with SXSW 2014 artist Travis Is a Tourist on his track ‘Little Conversations’, and she’ll appear in Austin as a solo artist this year. The video for her haunting track ‘Better Man’ is just below.


The West Ireland trio Rusangano Family comprises “2 MCs and 1 DJ”, according to their Facebook bio. Their politically-charged single ‘Heathrow’ was featured here in America by NPR back in December, and their album ‘Let the Dead Bury the Dead’ is due for release just after SXSW on the 8th of April.

Saint Sister, the duo project of Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre, combines electro-dream pop and traditional folk sounds. Their debut EP ‘Madrid’ was released last November, and following SXSW, they are scheduled to appear at The Great Escape festival in May.


The aptly named Irish electronic producer Somadrone specialises in straddling the boundary between popular and classical music. His genre-less, minimalist compositional style is evident in the SXSW-featured single ‘Invitation’.


For more information about the Irish and Northern Irish artists at this year’s SXSW, consult the Music from Ireland official Web site, or simply follow TGTF’s ongoing coverage of the festival. We eagerly anticipate seeing most of these showcasing artists live next week!


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: Scottish artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

By on Wednesday, 9th March 2016 at 1:00 pm

SXSW 2016 is set to feature a wide array of musicians from Scotland, ranging from reggae (yes, reggae!) to hard rock, and covering almost everything in between. We’ve already introduced indie pop group The Spook School and punk-grunge duo WOMPS as our Bands to Watch #369 and #370. Read on for what else Scotland plans to bring to Austin this year…

Synth rockers Holy Esque (pictured at top) are on the SXSW lineup again, for what will be their fourth consecutive year. They made their first appearance in 2013 on the strength of their self-titled debut EP. This year, they head across the pond with a full LP, ‘At Hope’s Ravine’. In addition to their SXSW showcases, Holy Esque are planning a full UK tour in support of ‘At Hope’s Ravine’, including a scheduled appearance at The Great Escape festival in Brighton in May. You can find our previous coverage of Holy Esque, including SXSW shows from 2014 and 2015, right here.

Pop singer/songwriter KLOE will make her first appearance at SXSW this spring after signing to Los Angeles record label IAMSOUND, who have hosted the likes of Florence + the Machine and Charli XCX. The slow, sultry dance beat and slick production of KLOE’s current single ‘Touch’ will immediately appeal to Ellie Goulding fans, who might hear a certain similarity in KLOE’s vocal delivery.


Dundee alt-rock five-piece The Mirror Trap are so excited for their trip to Austin this spring that they chose to premiere their track ‘New Trance’ in conjunction with their SXSW Showcasing Artist announcement. Describing themselves as “Unsigned. Majorly.”, the band self-released their album ‘Stay Young’ in February 2014 and an EP called ‘Silent Men’ a year later. If you’re new to The Mirror Trap, you can have a listen to the title track from that EP just below.


Mungo’s Hi Fi are described in their SXSW artist profile as “a reggae soundsystem from Glasgow”. They have been together over 10 years, touring in the UK and throughout Europe, as well as establishing their own dedicated label, Scotch Bonnet Records. They count among their influences both traditional Jamaican music and British dance tracks.

Post-grunge trio Pinact bring their fuzzed-out guitar melodies to Austin ahead of their April headline dates in the UK. They recently premiered the following new video for ‘Up and Down’, taken from their debut LP ‘Stand Still and Rot’, which was released last spring on Kanine Records.


Electro musician and producer Graeme Clark released his own debut album in 2015, under the moniker The Revenge. ‘Love That Will Not Wait’ came out last year on Clark’s label Roar Groove, and he is expected to follow it with not one but two new EPs in 2016. You can sample his SXSW featured track ‘Just One Touch’ just below.


Punk trio Baby Strange, indie rockers Washington Irving and dance pop group WHITE appear to have cancelled their trips to Austin this year. Announced as showcasing artists early in the process, none of the three bands are listed on the official SXSW schedule as of this writing. Filling the gaps are two late additions to the SXSW docket, electronic duo The Blessings and DJ Eclair Fifi. Comprising Dominic Flannigan and Martyn Flyn, The Blessings run their own record label called Lucky Me. Eclair Fifi is the nom de plume of Clair Stirling, who is a visual artist and fashion designer as well as a regular contributor to Lucky Me projects.

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2016 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.


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’.


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.


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.


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.

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