Some of you may have heard of a little festival known as South by Southwest (SXSW) which is held every year in Austin, TX. Well the Music and Media Conference will be starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 13 and will last until Sunday, March 18. It will be the host to hundreds panels and musical acts from around the world.
While the website for the event states, “The goal is to, inform and help bring together the people who will form the future of the music business,” the conference does have some interesting attractions for guests to experience. My favorite is The JACKED Stage by Doritos. For those who visit between Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17, they will be one of the first to try Dorito’s new JACKED tortilla chips. What’s a JACKED tortilla chip? Well apparently it’s “everything fans love about Doritos tortilla chips, only jacked up for a bigger experience. Forty percent bigger in size and thickness, the chip delivers a one-two punch of intense flavors upfront followed by a twist of spice or tanginess that packs the ultimate crunch.” Um, can someone mail me a bag? Doritos didn’t forget the “music” part of this conference though, within the six-story-tall-vending-machine-esque stage (oh, did I not mention that?) is where musical acts will perform while Doritos serves the new chip and give away prizes.
Without doing any background research of the festival, I figured it would be a gathering of bands by the conference organizers, similar to Vans Warped tour. What I thought was a pretty cool expansion from this, was the fact that the organizers allow partners such as Nat Geo Music (apparently the record label for National Geographic, did anyone other than me not know they had one?) to bring in more talent from around the world. Nat Geo Music is showcasing 11 acts which include Latin funk machine Grupo Fantasma (a Grammy-winning Latin funk group from Austin) , Nigerian firebrand Nneka,, and a rare performance from legendary Jamaican roots reggae star Jimmy Cliff. I like that not only will SXSW be showcasing known and unknown artists from the U.S., but it also gives people the chance to listen to bands that they may never be able to hear again due to the rare opportunities that foreign artists may be asked to travel such a long and expensive distance.
I think the SXSW is one of the coolest music festivals, not only because of it’s enormous size or the number of talent that it brings together, but because of the message that it sends of the universality of music across cultures.