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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Festival’s free shows, new artists attract student crowd

 
 

This years South by Southwest festival featured the old and the new, with musical artists such as the Flaming Lips and the recently popular Macklemore hitting stages to entertain masses of grinning and sunburned music lovers. Though the costs for some shows were high, students attest that this years festival offered free lineups that entertained at a cheaper expense.
I went to all free shows, so for me showing up early to the venue was key, said Bo Martinez, senior communications major. It was worth it to wait around for a couple of hours to see my favorite bands up close and personal.
Free was a key word for most students looking to get their Spring Break kicks in Austin during SXSW. While each nights biggest showcases included bands such as Green Day, Justin Timberlake and guitar-god Prince, free day parties offered the chance to see new and rising musicians at the low cost of an RSVP email and a short wait in a line for a wristband.
Parties like Hype Hotel, a weeklong temporary venue co-hosted by blog aggregator Hype Machine and Taco Bell, hosted all-day sets curated by blogs like GorillavsBear, Guess Im Floating, and Stereogum. Vienna-based SOHNs haunting analog-synth soul and Charlie XCXs cheeky electropopelectro pop typified the kinds of the kinds of electronic sounds heard at the dimly-lit Hype Hotel throughout the week, though a few harder-edged acts like Bleeding Rainbow and the Canadian noise-punk trio METZ brought the distorted guitar and pounding drum kit as well.
Other dayDay parties from SPINs, the epic-scale Fader Fort and Waterloo Records brought names like Kendrick Lamar, Tegan and Sara, and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to the badgeless, though some music buffs found that older acts were their favorite part of the week.
It’s hard to pick just one, but my favorite would probably be the Adolescents, said Daniella Mascarenhas, senior political science major. They’re such an iconic punk band and despite being a bunch of old punks, they can still really rock and get a crowd going.
While planning ahead for the event is often a part of the SXSW routine, some chose to skip the planning phase and most of the lines and just enjoy the experience as it unfolds.
Most people who plan out everything theyre doing end up rushing around all over the place, I just go there to have a good time and see all the craziness, Cody Franklin, senior English major said.
The extent to which corporate sponsorship, not the desire of the masses to find the next big sound, is the driving force behind SXSW has always been controversial. However, this year, , and this year it was as pervasive as ever, though much of the advertising was aimed at keeping party-goers downtown as long as possible. Hype Hotels co-sponsor Taco Bell handed out free Doritos tacos at their parties all week, and charging stations provided by Ford and Brita helped party-goers keep their ubiquitous smartphones alive and kicking. Some students found they didnt mind all the ads as long as they got their fix of music.
Morally, as a punk who just said I loved the Adolescents, I feel like I should be against the overwhelming corporate sponsorship, but I think it actually enhanced my experience, Mascarenhas said. I was able to get through most of the festival without paying for things because of the amount of free food and drinks. That wouldn’t have been possible without corporate sponsorship.

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