Monday, March 16, 2020

SXSW 2020 Playlist

The first band I saw at SXSW 2019 was Black Midi

Missing Austin

So, I had a reservation to leave from Newark for Austin at 12:25pm today for South By Southwest. On March 6th, the city of Austin declared a local disaster and effectively canceled the festival. A little while later, I canceled my reservation.

It was the right call, clearly, to cancel the festival. There just would have been too many people, from too many different places to which they'd all eventually return, converging on the city. In light of yesterday's CDC recommendation to limit gatherings to fewer than 50 people, the decision appears even more prudent.

All of that said, I'll miss SXSW Music this year. For someone like me, the opportunity to walk from my hotel to hundreds of performances over the course of the week is like heaven. There's a large and overbearing corporate presence throughout South By Southwest; but, despite my usual aversion to such things, that doesn't in any way take away from my ability to enjoy the sight of a band or solo performer laying it all on the line for an audience.

None of that is too big of a problem for me. The cancellation of SXSW saved me a bunch of money in airfare and hotel fees. For a large chunk of the Austin economy, though, this has been a disaster. The Austin Community Foundation has set up the Stand with Austin Fund "to receive charitable donations to support nonprofits assisting individuals and small businesses most negatively impacted by the cancellation of SXSW and least able to recover on their own."

Additionally, you can help out artists and provide yourself with some entertainment while social distancing at home by purchasing some of your favorite bands' music from their labels, their websites, or their Bandcamp pages.

Finally, and more generally, you can check out some of the organizations listed at Charity Navigator if you'd like to help with relief efforts.

Ok ok ok, now to the point.

Here's a playlist that I made very quickly by going through the list of official showcasing artists at SXSW 2020. There's probably a very slim chance that I would have gotten to experience all of these bands, and there were also tons of unofficial shows or new bands on official bills that I would have discovered during the week that, obviously, don't appear here. Check this out as you work from home or whatever and, maybe, buy some of the music you enjoy.

Stay well. Wash your hands.

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