2015 SXSW Music Convention Summary
by Alex Cosper (3/16/15)

SXSW continues to be one of the most important annual music conventions where new talent is discovered and big name talent helps make the event seem colossal. In 2015 the convention runs from March 13 through March 22. The annual music convention began in 1987. It usually features over 2,000 bands from all over the world. In recent years over 50,000 people have attended the event held every March in Austin.

Established or emerging artists performing at SXSW in 2015 include AWOLNATION, Bodeans, Courtney Barnett, The Damned, Drivin N Cryin, E-40, Gang of Four, Iggy Azalea, Incubus, Kanye West, Rae Sremmurd, Tove Lo, Whiz Khalifa, Wyclef Jean and Wynona Judd & The Big Noise.

The Associated Press named six new acts to focus on: Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear from Kansas City, Belgian singer Stromae, NY band Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, San Diego singer Andra Day, Canadian duo The Bros. Landreth and British multi-instrumentalist Jack Garratt. Up and coming bands that play for the event usually only get paid about $250 or the members get wrist bands that give them access to all shows.

Pandora and Spotify are sponsoring talent at SXSW 2015, which showcases more than musical acts. It has grown to be a convention that features tech, movies and other forms of entertainment. The company that runs the convention, called South By Southwest, runs other conventions throughout the year including Southwest Eco, an environmental conference and Southwest V2V, a conference for startups. SXSW has also inspired many other festivals such as Homegrown Music Festival in Duluth, MN, ZXZW in Tiburg, Netherlands and XOXO in Portland, OR.

The SXSW Film Festival includes a record setting 145 films. Films at the 2015 festival include Furious 7, Get Hard, Spy, Trainwreck, The Final Girls and Moonwalkers.

It's amazing how successful SXSW is and how it continues to grow in many ways. The festival continues to be Austin's biggest revenue generator, accounting for hundreds of millions of dollars. It's interesting that Austin can have such a huge impact on the global scene. Part of what makes the festival work is that Austin has many live music venues and music is a big part of its economy. It raises the question if music can help the economies of other cities, or are there anly a few special music cities like Austin?

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