South By So What?: what we are trying to accomplish with this web site

From what I can gather (and I could be wrong on this!), the original emphasiis of the official festival was on exposing Austin artists to a larger community. Over time, however, that emphasis has moved further and further away from this aspect. That would be all fine and good, except ...

... now most of the local artists wind up completely overshadowed by the goings-on, both during the duration of the festival and for some time afterwards (1). Further, the process of being selected to perform (or not) is inherently a political process. Some of the artists apply and don't make it; others just roll their eyes at the whole prospect of what (to them) amounts to applying to be allowed to play in their own home town.

So, for the past several years, various "alternative" shows have sprung up at various places in town. Some of the various names the various organizers have come up with are:

But until this site, there has never been any place to find out about all these shows in a single location. In fact, due to the inherently anarchic nature of the scene, oftentimes the various organizers haven't done any coordination at all. In addition, many of the shows tend just to "happen" at the last minute.

A further complicating factor is that the local newspaper most dedicated to live music (the weekly Austin Chronicle) is the major sponsor behind the official festival; their attention tends to focus almost solely on it. (In fact, they keep sufficiently busy with just that -- they publish daily during the festival, and each of those issues is hardly skimpy).

So here's the deal. My name is Mark Linimon and I'm offering to gather and publish the information. What's in it for me? Not much -- I have no connection to the music business as such. But I'm a major music fan, especially of some of the local artists here, and this is my way of 'returning the favor', so to speak.

So, no charge, no fees, no rules, no big whup-tee-do. Just let me know what shows you have going on and I'll try to list them. You can judge how well I did in 2002 by looking at the 2002 information. (There's a summary of information from years previous to that as culled from back issues of John Conquest's Third Coast Music, but it may be of only historical interest now).

One more rule: in accordance with the anarchical nature of all this, I'm not even restricting this to Austin artists. There's a lot of folks who come to town to hang out and wind up playing some of the local shows. Now, to be honest, I'm not going to seek out these listings, but I'm not planning to turn any away either. OK?


Back to the South By So What main page.

1) You see, many local listeners who attend some part of the festival wind up kind of burned out by the end of the week; apparently, some clubs have reported that attendance does not recover to regular levels for quite some time.


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