Archive for the ‘SXSW’ Category


SXSW – A Huge Career Boost? Or a Huge Waste of Money?

February 5, 2015

This happens every year.

I get an email from an artist or band that is super excited they got into SXSW.

Maybe the official SXSW. Or maybe just an opportunity to play some shows there.

(In case you don’t know, SXSW is a huge music festival in Austin every March. It’s dubbed “spring break for the music business” and tens of thousands of people attend every year.)

Now, while I understand that there is a TREMENDOUS amount of hype around SXSW, I have to say THIS IS PROBABLY THE SINGLE WORST WAY TO SPEND MONEY AS AN ARTIST.

Don’t get me wrong.

SXSW is a lot of fun.

I went one year and spent $1500 between the last minute flight and an all access badge, food, etc. I had a free hotel to stay in courtesy of a friend so the $1500 didn’t even include hotels.

Did I have a blast?

You betcha.

Did I eat a lot of great BBQ?

You betcha.

Did I see a lot of amazing and many not so amazing bands perform?

You betcha.

Was is a huge, giant waste of money?

You betcha!

Artists and bands used to go to Austin every year to play gigs because A&R reps would be there, looking for new acts to sign….that was maybe 10 years ago.

Now SXSW is just a huge party.

I describe it as “Mardi Gras without the beads.”

It’s generally just thousands of drunk college kids stumbling around, having a great time on spring break with a smattering of industry folks.

$1500 could have bought me an amazing week in Hawaii.

Or a hell of a lot of PR and marketing for my company.

I met people, don’t get me wrong.

But not one of the industry contacts I made there lead to me making even $1.


Now, don’t get me wrong.

SXSW is a great place to be if you want to check out a thousand different bands and artists playing.

It showcases everyone from metal bands to country icons.

But over the past 10 years it’s just devolved into a huge branding event for companies to showcase their company to the millennial generation.

Maybe if you are a band from North Dakota and have no way to play in front of more than 3 people, SXSW makes sense.

But for the average band?

There is nothing harder than trying to get people to come to a show in your home town, right?

Well, then try getting noticed when you’re playing at the same time as Prince or Coldplay or any band or artist people have heard of, let alone at the same time as the other 100-200 bands playing at any time of the day or night at SXSW.


I want to hear from you!!!!

Have you ever been to SXSW?

Because if you have, I want to hear from you!

Email me and tell me about your experience! I want to hear all stories – good, bad, indifferent!

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent PR ~ True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Artist Management~Music Licensing~Music Publicity

“Anything worthwhile in life requires time, patience, and persistence.”
–Cheryl Richardson