AUSTIN, Texas — As SXSW came to a close Sunday, thousands of festival-goers headed home, marking an end to nearly two weeks of interactive film and music programs and events. Over the course of the final week, the SXSW music portion, downtown Austin was transformed into a giant concert space. With more must-see acts than there are slots in the day, it grew difficult to pick who to see and who to miss. It’s impossible to see everyone, but here are some highlights from the final few days.
Free the People
About a week ago, Chance the Rapper and the Social Experiment announced their Free the People Showcase for SXSW. One of the hottest talents in hip-hop, Chance makes it a point to make his shows accessible. This show was free and open to the public for anyone who RSVPed on his website. Chance closed off a night featuring acts such as Kevin Gates, Raury, Kehlani, Goldlink, Post Malone, Smoko Ono and many more.
Palma Violets, who performed for the SUPERB show on Sproul last year, brought some serious Brit rock ’n’ roll to the Pandora Discovery Den on Saturday. They stood out in an electronic and hip-hop-heavy lineup, and brought hardcore punk-influenced energy into a gloomy, rainy afternoon.
In between shoutouts to their San Francisco friends, Cathedrals’ songstress Brodie Jenkins floats across stage projecting a breathy yet soulful voice. Local to the Bay Area, the dream-pop band was a highlight at their label Neon Gold Records’ showcase.
Another local act from Richmond, California, Iamsu! brought Bay Area rap to the hip-hop showcase at ACL Live at the Moody Theater, the must-see show Saturday night.
Ryan Hemsworth, who hails from Canada, has blown up in the electronic music scene. In a culture of constant mixing and remixing, Hemsworth, who samples music from across genres, feels very much a part of our generation. He remixed “What’s My Age Again,” among other classic hits at one of the best venues at SXSW: the Mohawk, an indoor-outdoor space sponsored by Vans.
Eco Light Garden
SXSW’s Eco Light Garden provided a peaceful but provocative recluse in downtown Austin’s Republic Square Park. Companies operating at the intersection of art and technology incorporated the latest lighting technologies into public interactive installations. Their works were all eco-friendly, encouraging viewers to appreciate the plot of green secluded inside the city. See a selection from the project below:
Aerosol Warfare Studios constructed an eight by eight plexiglass cube (above) that was sprayed from the inside with pink, blue and purple graffiti-style painting.
Crash Alchemy created a tiny forest of towering, rainbow-colored structures. Light shines through metal shapes, laser-cut into intricate lattice patterns, as pictured above.
Ink Tank Art Collective installed an “Enchanted Wishing Well,” which seductively bid viewers with calls like, “Hey walk closer,” and, “Don’t you want to see what’s inside,” in a flirtatious, feminine voice.
Anna Carey is a senior staff writer. Contact her at [email protected]