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SXSW is a music lover's paradise. There's no better experience than attending SXSW for the sheer diversity, quantity and quality of music offered in a finite time period - from established artists to indie rock and alt-country, to cutting edge rock and pop. Beside performances by Ray Davies of the Kinks and David Byrne of Talking Heads fame, there was a plethora of music booked into Austin's amazing concert and club scene, geared to almost every taste. Waterloo Park featured Kasey Chambers, Junior Brown, Buckwheat Zydeco and Bobby Bare, Jr. ; other highlight performances were from Train, Amy Ray, Will Hogue, Red Meat, Ryan Adams, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, The Black Crowes, Fastball, John Wesley Harding, Anders Osborne, and Ron Sexsmith.

If you're going to SXSW for the first time as a manager or band, the experience is not for the faint-hearted. If you're showcasing, plenty of preparation is necessary, including making and distributing flyers, exhausting your e-mail list, researching who is attending and then attempting to set up meetings in advance. You'll soon realize the savvy have their system for getting on the inside track for party invites, complete with free beer and plenty of Tex Mex fare.

Registration has many perks - attendance at panels, concerts and clubs and, of course, the ever-popular trade show and goody bags, complete with music magazines and paraphernalia. In that vein, the buzz this year for free giveaways was the blotter breath mints (can you say "windowpane"?) although my favorite was the Mackie pocketknife. Sunday's baseball game/barbeque is also included and not to be missed (although this year rain forced it inside at Antones) with barbeque from Salt Lick.

Panels included David Byrne and Sharon Osborne (Ozzy's manager/wife), while Ray Davies gave the Keynote Speech and Miles Copeland III, Sting's long-time manager, divulged some secrets of successful management.

If you plan to go next year, early registration in October of 2001 gets you the cheapest price. Check out their web site at: for more information. / Issue 16 - September 2018
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