Yes, South By Southwest is (virtually) going on right now…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 12:57 pm March 18, 2021
The Wedding Present at Red Eyed Fly, SXSW, March 14, 2012.
The Wedding Present at Red Eyed Fly, SXSW, March 14, 2012. While SXSW is happening this year, there’s no live venue shows thanks to COVID-19.

COVID-19 disruption continues. One holiday I look forward to most is St. Patrick’s Day — when I can drink Guinness beer in the stank basement of The Dubliner and watch March Madness while listening to live Irish folk music (or something close to it).

Not this year.

St. Patty’s Day was spent drinking Guinness out of a bottle while watching The Quiet Man at home (“Here’s a good stick to beat the lovely lady.” How has this film not been cancelled yet?). March Madness doesn’t start until tonight (play-in game). Disruption!

Another thing happening this week that happens every year is the South By Southwest Festival in Austin. Last year’s SXSW was one of the first major music festival to get cancelled due to COVID-19. Well, SXSW is on this year, but it’s being held “virtually.” What that means is that the music performances are all being streamed via the SXSW portal, but just like every other year, it requires a pass to view, yours for the low price of $399.

This year’s participants are being marketed as “all opening acts, no headliners” — meaning that top-drawing acts are skipping the virtual experience. That being the case, SXSW could have actually expanded its reach this year by making those streams available free. Certainly would have helped the artists as well, though I guess the SXSW organization probably needs the cash to keep going. The full list of bands participating in SXSW is here.

Hopefully the SXSW — with its long lines, free food and ever-present haze of pot smoke — will be back in full force in 2022.

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