by Michael Faso a BECA Junior
Over the past two years, the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) music festival has become a staple in youth culture. Coachella has been happening every year for the past decade, but it wasn’t until 2011 that the festival came to sell out in three days; and in 2012, Goldenvoice created TWO weekends of the festival, and both were sold out in minutes.
SXSW is a conference that was originally designed to give unsigned bands a chance at the limelight through standout performances. It was small, independent, and there were a few label reps there. However, now it has completely turned upside down. The biggest stars our pop culture knows – like Jay-Z and 50-Cent – have come to this year’s SXSW for performances. This is strange considering the event serves as a platform for up and coming musicians.
But the whole event has been turned upside down. While it used to remain low-key and was primarily for artists and techies, it has now become the epicenter for all aspiring bloggers and social media workers. Everyone is there to cover the event, not participate, so they must be satisfied. The spectacle must happen in front of the reporters.
I personally have never been to the event, but my knowledge is coming from friends who attend and the massive social media coverage of this year and last. Basically if you’re “cool” you will be attending or performing at SXSW; if you’re not, you’re at home. I strongly feel that the subculture of the internet has blown events like SXSW and Coachella completely out of the water. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, because I strongly support artists and music. But I’d like to see a strong line of separation between true fans of the music and people who want to be involved because its cool.
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