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SXSW 2015 – Festival Preview

The monster festival event that is SXSW is now in full swing. With the film and interactive portions of SXSW coming to an end it’s time to get geared up for the grand finale… one of the biggest most terrifyingly vast music events in the world: SXSW music week.

And it is terrifying. Terrifying in a good and bad kind of way. On one hand, there is just so much music going on at once that you couldn’t possibly see all the acts you want to see. Do you see the popular band that you know and love… do you duck in and listen to an up-and-coming band that is getting a lot of buzz at the moment… or do you take a chance on a completely unknown band that is about to go on stage RIGHT NOW?! Good problems to have I suppose.

And while a fair bit of planning helps, SXSW is all about spontaneous discovery. The best way to experience it is to come with a plan and then let the tide take you where it will. With that in mind, I’ve devised (another) handy little guide for SXSW 2015.

This year I’ve made three lists:
1. The Bands you MUST see
2. The Bands you might not have heard of before but you MUST see
3. The Parties you should be going to

1. The Bands you MUST see

Even though there is no particular order to these lists… Spoon must be at the top of the “bands you must see” list. Austin is their hometown… SXSW is like their grand homecoming. They’ll be headlining at the Hype Hotel on the opening night and then the Cedar Street Courtyard the following night.

Sure there is a lot of nostolgic impulse-picks in the list below (Incubus, Hot Chip, Dilated Peoples, redman, Ghostface Killah!!) but you’re almost sure to see a great show from those shows. They are the big acts that you just shouldn’t miss, new and old. From veterans like Charles Bradley to new comers like Joey Bada$$. Or acts that I just guarantee will put on a stunning show like Portugal. The Man or Foals. These are the acts you should be shooting for at a bare minimum:

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2. The Bands you might not have heard of before but you MUST see

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3. The Parties you should be going to