It’s that time of year again. This week, people from all across the country grabbed their flower headbands and shorty shorts and flocked to Austin, TX for the annual South By Southwest music and film festival.
SXSW is the first of many Spring/Summer music festivals (dubbed ‘Festival Season’) of the year. To nobody’s surprise, the music lineup of this year’s festival is nothing but the best. SXSW pulls in bands from all over the world, including the UK, Belgium, Mexico… The list goes on.
Here are the highlights of SXSW so far:
Obama skips out on Nancy Reagan’s funeral to attend festival
But, it’s not why you think. Sure, attending a music festival is way less depressing than going to a funeral, but President Obama was scheduled to give a keynote speech on the same day that Reagan was laid to rest. This year was the first time that a president and first lady have attended the music and film festival.
First Lady Michelle Obama also gives keynote
Don’t think Michelle Obama is there to party either. The First Lady gave a keynote today, which is all about female empowerment and is related to the Let Girls Learn initiative. The initiative “is a government-wide effort that will leverage the investments we have made and success we have achieved in global primary school, and expand them to help adolescent girls complete their education.”
Vince Staples criticizes Spotify while performing in SXSW’s Spotify House
Dissing streaming services is now the cool thing to do, and Spotify has caught flack yet again. This time, from rapper Vince Staples. During his set, Staples stopped and said:
“Shoutout to Spotify,” he said. “Thank you for giving me this check to make up for what you’ve done to me and all my musical friends.” Later, he told the crowd, “listen to your favorite album 1,000, 2,000 times so everybody can get an album sale.”
-Vince Staples via Pitchfork
Jessica Hopper to give talk on music industry
Editorial Director at MTV Jessica Hopper is scheduled to give a talk today on the music industry and how to make it a safe place for those of us who aren’t male. Possibly the best thing about SXSW is that not only is a platform for lesser known bands to get themselves out there, it’s also a way to start (or continue) dialog on topics that are important to discuss in the music industry, whether it be race, class, sex, etc.
SXSW continues on until the 20th, so you still have time to head down to Texas and get in on the action!