3 Things Artists Should Keep In Mind While Attending SXSW

We are less than a month away from the start of SXSW, and from the growing number of press alerts in my inbox it seems safe to assume promotion for every band’s numerous performances is well under way. Being a musician at SXSW can be an exciting, dizzying, and altogether life-changing experience, but it is of the utmost importance that you do everything in your power to remain level headed. You never know where your time in Austin will lead, but if you keep the following tips in mind success will not be far away:

1. Do your research and come with a plan.

SXSW is chaos on Sixth street. If you’re part of a band that has never experienced this — do research. Talk to bands that have played showcases in the past, know where you want to be, who you want to see and whose hand you want to shake. Be aware of everything going on and make the most of every minute you are there. This is an industry driven on being in the right place at the right time. Make a plan and do your best to stick to it [and stay relatively sober, no one wants to hear you drunkenly describe your band as The Beatles meets Bon Iver and how you’re going to change the world forever].

2. Keep an ear to the ground.

The amount of unofficial showcases, house parties and sideshows are unreal. Stay glued to social media, email and the talking heads around you for opportunities to jump on last-minute gigs and impress an entire new group of potential fans. These shows are a great opportunity to play with artists you would have never shared the stage with on a normal bill and can build relationships for future touring.

3. Don’t make an ass of yourself.

We already mentioned how important it is to stay sober enough to make the right impression, but really, if you take your band serious, don’t become overwhelmed by temptation. Being the mecca of musical discovery, your band is a dime a dozen for the entire week, your impression is everything. Don’t get us wrong, it is so important to embrace the week and have an unforgettable time doing so, but you must also bring your A-game for all day, every day. Show the people who matter that you are impressive both on and off stage.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.