It’s off to another SXSW for us at L4M. This year will be the first in 5 where we will not hosting a showcase. Without necessarily meaning to, we seem to be have identified with a global trend: Is Southby really worth it anymore?
There have been numerous editorials, blogs, tweets etc. that have dismissed SXSW as washed up, too corporate, EXPENSIVE, and too cluttered. I think I agree with the last three.
In preliminary discussions with our partners in Austin it became painfully clear that if we wanted to continue with the L4M showcase at the same magnitude as the years past, we would have to partner (i.e. get money from) several companies and probably become an “official showcase”. While that was a possibility, partnering and becoming official means that you cannot choose your roster, venue or time slot. Not sure why we would host a showcase with artists we don’t work with at a location we have not selected ourselves. If we were just hosting a party to host a party it would make sense, but our purpose has always been to showcase our artists and give them a platform to express themselves in front of an audience of fans and industry folks. With the number of large companies and sponsors and limited quality venues, our goal seemed unattainable.
This year we are heading down for interactive to see if the popular claim: “You can actually get business done at Interactive” rings true. So far (after two days) it has become apparent that interactive really means plugged in; as in plugged into any electrical outlet. While there are amazing entrepreneurs here, it is hard to have an actual conversation with anyone as the vast majority of attendees are “interacting” with their handheld devices, laptops (L4M is guilty of this) or other new dew hickey. Definitely some cool stuff here, but hard to really feel connected (other than to an outlet).
More to come…
We here at L4M are known for a few things: useful information to musicians and musid industry professionals, witty banter and throwing killer shows in Austin, TX.
The last two years in Austin have been “bananas”. We have moved from Momo’s to Aces with our hip hop oriented unofficial showcase. Last year at Aces, we packed the place with about 850 fans who seemed to instantenously decide to forget their weeklong festival hangover and party once more. Dialted Peoples, The Cool Kids, 88 Keys, Travie McCoy, Bad Rabbits, Kidz in the Hall, and others helped to make a day party spill over into the night.
L4M has expanded since 2010. We’ve added a couple more lawyers who generally do not suck. We have also partnered with a pretty bad ass music venue here in Chicago, The Bottom Lounge to host more shows here in our home town. Naturally, we felt the need to expand our showcase for Austin.
While details are still being put together, we can put a muzzle on some of the rumors and answer some of the questions we have been getting about this year’s festival. L4M, The Bottom Lounge and some otherh sweet partners will be sponsoring a two day unofficial showcase featuring one day of hip hop and one day of rock. As the kids say: that’s what’s up!
Confirmed artists include: The Cool Kids, the Doomtree crew, Pac Div, Blah Blah Blah, The Idle Hands, Empires, Elephant Stone and more. The hip hop show is slated for Friday at Aces (again) and the Rock show will most likely be in the same vicinity on Saturday. Obviously, more details will follow. Stay tuned!