SXSW 2024: The Scene


For me, the true harbinger of spring is the arrival of the SXSW in Austin, Texas. Or fairly, spring begins for me after I arrive in Austin for the annual occasion. With upwards of 1,500 artists and tens of 1000’s of attendees from around the globe, SXSW is the world’s premiere music convention. Even higher, it’s one heck of a celebration.

Over the following few days I’ll be sharing a few of my highlights from SXSW 2024.


This isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve been attending SXSW longer than I care to confess, which implies I’ve seen how the venue panorama has re-made itself over time. Development has performed a key position – East Austin remains to be bohemian in spots – an awesome factor – however stylish house buildings proceed to devour neighborhood blocks.

Rainey Avenue, which exploded into hipster existence a number of years in the past, is already a shell of itself. What was quant bungalows was bars is now a mass of high-rise flats and condos.

And sixth St, as soon as the epicenter of SXSW venues, is now a musical wasteland.

So what’s remained the identical?

South Congress could also be gentrifying however remains to be sustaining its musical greatness. The Continental Membership. Guero’s Oak Backyard. SX San Jose. C-Boys Coronary heart & Soul. Arlyn Studios. A lot nice music and character. Gotta respect the custom.

The Pink River district – anchored by Stubbs BBQ and venue – continues to be a SXSW focus. Empire Storage and Management Room. Swan Dive. Aspect Bar. Mohawk. All nice venues that hosted some nice showcases this yr.

East Austin remains to be an indie rock focus, with the multi-room Lodge Vegas and non permanent phases on the Grackle and Zilker Brewing Firm. And maybe most indicative of how the venue scene is evolving – the Parish, lengthy a fixture on sixth St, is now simply throughout the freeway in East Austin.


Between the pandemic, wars, and the final social, political, and financial rigidity which have roiled the world over the previous a number of years, it’s no shock to seek out that electrical guitars are getting loud and cranky. This was particularly obvious at SXSW this yr. There have been artists like Noah and the Loners, who blasted by means of a set of wonderful punk rock at 1am on Wednesday evening, er., Thursday morning and Sean Barna, whose songs and stage presence matched the depth of his electrical guitar. Then there was Lottery Winners, whose excessive vitality indie rock was accompanied by lyrics of positivity. How refreshing.

Indie pop, notably from the worldwide crowd, was additionally a powerful presence. Norway’s Malin Pettersen and Australia’s Anna Smyrk had been among the many stand-outs on this class.


I stayed till Monday this yr and notably loved a relaxed Sunday in Austin. Recurring rain put a damper on issues, for positive, however it was nice to wander South Congress with out the admittedly self-driven depth of the full-on fest. The SoCo Stomp at C-Boys Coronary heart & Soul continued in full-force, that includes a few of Austin’s most interesting, from newer acts like Restos to long-time faves like Jon Dee Graham and Shinyribs. I even sat down for a correct meal, my first of the week.

In regards to the writer:  Gentle-mannered company govt by day, excitable Twangville denizen by evening.


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