The SXSW Tour Kickoff happened Saturday night at Illegal Pete's on South Broadway! Bands and music fans were all encouraged to stop by to celebrate. A Colorado playlist blared in the background featuring bands heading to Austin.
Illegal Pete's Virgil Dickerson (Marketing Master/All Round Good Dude) said the goal of the party was to "have everyone meet up, network, and share dates and ideas concerning South By Southwest and Colorado Music. We take a lot of pride in our music scene representing at South by Southwest and hope that presence gets bigger and better every year."
The crowd was a great representation of the diversity of the music scene and I had a chance to talk with a few bands about past SXSW experiences and expectations for this year.
A. Tom Collins: Aaron Collins (piano/lead singer) is heading down to SXSW for the ninth time and looks forward to swimming at Barton Springs in addition to playing multiple shows! He loves SXSW bc its the one festival that you don't have to be accepted at in order to play.
Ark Life: Anna Morsett (bass/vocals) is going for the first time, and this is the first year Ark Life will play, although her other band members are veterans of making the trek to Austin. They have seven shows lined up and she is excited to have her band mates "ferry her along the chaos."
The Epilogues: The band will play the festival for the eighth year and see SXSW as a place to catch up with old friends, not necessarily a place to get signed. Plus they share a story about meeting actor Dennis Quaid!
Inner Oceans: This new Denver band is an Official SXSW pick playing the festival for the first time, although the members have been in previous years. Their expectations for the festival is to play their best and have fun.
Little Fyodor: This cult act has been performing longer than SXSW has been a festival. They were encouraged to apply to play the official showcase after an Austin band heard them and loved their sound.
Carl Sorensen: The reputable local drummer will be playing with three different bands in Austin this year (Dragondeer, Zach Heckendorf, Lara Ruggles). He's excited to share each stage with bassist Casey Sidwell because they've been having a great time playing together.