Austin American Statesman : SXSW INTERNATIONAL BANDS Around the world in 5 days -- Our top SXSW international acts
Global sounds have been a part of the South by Southwest Music Festival since its beginning nearly 30 years ago, and the international component has grown yearly since. Of the nearly 2,200 bands scheduled to play this year’s event, 584 are international acts.
Though many of the artists traveling thousands of miles to share their sounds are top-billed performers in their home countries, these showcases generally take place in the shadows of high-profile headliners and buzz bands. This makes them some of the most accessible events for locals without credentials. Though all official shows offer priority entry to SXSW badge and wristband holders, it’s possible to pay a cover charge of $5-$20 at many international showcases. As Austin has grown as an international city, these shows have become rich gathering spots for local expats from around the world.
Over the past five years or so, Latin music has flourished at the festival, with many South American countries represented in their own showcases. This year’s lineup includes dedicated nights for Chile, Uruguay and Colombia. On the Asian front, Japan Nite, one of the flagship international fest events, celebrates 20 years this year, Korea expands to two nights of dedicated showcases, and for the first time Pakistan has a big presence at the festival.
The festival provides an incredible opportunity for Austinites to explore the world without leaving our own city limits, and this guide is an overview of the places you can go.
KPop Night Out at Elysium: Korean music at the fest has grown into two big showcases, and though this one is billed as KPop, the styles represented go deeper than the saccharine manufactured pop songs associated with the genre. Highlights include retro doo-wop girl group the Barberettes, who play at 9:30 p.m., and excellent hip-hop outfit Epik High, who close the show out at 1:10 a.m. (Korea Night II, Seoulsonic, is Friday at the Majestic) — D.S.S.
By Nancy Flores and Deborah Sengupta Stith
2015 KOCCA KPop Night Out Showcase (Planning/Production/Promotions) : DFSB Kollective x SL Communications
International Distribution : DFSB Kollective (EE/Eastern Sidekick)