Ready for SXSW?


The days of having to be signed to a major record label to have music industry success are over.  With outlets like YouTube, Soundcloud, Reverbnation and plenty more, independent artists can create fan bases that are as big and loyal as the signed artists, just look at Tyler the Creator and Odd Future.  One of the biggest outlets for up and coming artists to get exposure is SXSW (South by Southwest), hosted in Austin, Texas every March.  Signed and independent artist, promoters and music lovers from all over the country travel to Austin every year to take part in the festivities.  This is a must take trip for anyone looking to find success in the music world.  But, are you prepared?  The worst thing you could do would be to have such a great opportunity and not capitalize.  Here are a few things you can do to make sure your SXSW trip is a success:


1. Come Prepared. With so many people all joined in one place with the same common interest, original music, it would be a shame for you not to have your CD on hand, ready to pass out to anybody willing to take a copy.  You could probably pass out 100 CD's in your first 10 minutes on 6th Street, so bulk up.  The more you get out the better.

2. Contact Information.  Anything you pass out should have your contact information on it and a link to more music.  Even if you somehow end up without CD's, make sure you at least have business cards to leave with people.

3. Make Contacts.  Mingle with as many people as possible.  Magazine editors, A&R's, radio hosts and all kinds of music industry contacts travel to SXSW every year.  Your may be standing right next to your favorite artists manager and won't know unless you talk to them.  Don't be afraid to ask if you can contact them later.  A simple email address can make a big difference in your future.

4. Performing.  SXSW is all about original music, so if you're not on the bill this year, doesn't mean you won't be next year.  Find the club/event promoters.  Usually you can find their information on the flyers.  Once you get to the event, find them and see how you can get on stage.  I've even heard stories of someone from the crowd getting to perform their music because the person on the flyer didn't show up.  Which leads me back to #1.....Come Prepared!

5. Do NOT Get Arrested.  The worst thing you could possibly do would be spending half your SXSW trip dealing with the Austin police and court system.  Not to mention the money you will waste traveling to Austin every month for court dates.  Promoters and club owners won't want anything to do with you if they feel you're a liability.  Have fun, but treat your trip like a business vacation.  You're there for a purpose!

Follow these tips and your SXSW trip will be a success.  Create a big enough buzz by spring and your summer should be one to remember!


Written by Ishan Birchett
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