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Road to Austin: Savannah Stopover's Allure for Bands on Their Way to SXSW

The Fontaines. (Image via sonicbids.com)

Okay, even though this post is under our #RoadToAustin umbrella, we're willing to bet that a good chunk of those reading this are already hunkered down for SXSW. But there's also a good chance that some of you reading these words right now were rocking out at Savannah Stopover, the pre-SX fest that invaded Savannah, GA, last weekend. For many, the allure of 100 bands in 10 venues over three days is enough to make a pit stop on their way to Austin, as Savannah Stopover has proved itself a worthy complement to big brother SXSW. A handful of Sonicbids artists had the opportunity to play the fest, and here, in real time (well, as real time as Instagram is!) are their recaps of their Stopover experience!

Road to Austin: What's in Your Suitcase? The Essentials That Smart DIY Bands Pack for SXSW

Manic Pixi. (Image via sonicbids.com)

Every week leading up to SXSW, we'll be sharing the exciting journeys of Sonicbids bands from all around the world in our 2016 Road to Austin series. Follow along to get insight on the planning and preparation that goes into it, a firsthand look at life on the road, tips from SXSW veterans, and much more. Join the conversation by using #RoadToAustin on social media – we'd love to hear from you! 

Packing for your SXSW jaunt can be daunting. Even if you're not touring your way in or out and are only playing in Austin, the logistics of figuring out what you'll need – then loading it all into your vehicle – isn't that simple. (Or, if you're flying, your carry-on and checked baggage, which complicates matters even further.)

The most important items you carry might be literally be carried for miles from the only parking spot you could find. So what do you really need to bring, and how will you lug it? And what is still essential, but can remain in the van as backup? Three artists headed to this year's festival shared their packing lists with us. Read on – their input may help you figure out your own plan.

sxsw, road to austin

Mar 2, 2016 06:00 AM

Jhoni Jackson

Road to Austin: 6 Artists Share How They're Prepping for SXSW Right Now

Lena Fayre. (Image via sonicbids.com)

Every week leading up to SXSW, we'll be sharing the exciting journeys of Sonicbids bands from all around the world in our 2016 Road to Austin series. Follow along to get insight on the planning and preparation that goes into it, a firsthand look at life on the road, tips from SXSW veterans, and much more. Join the conversation by using #RoadToAustin on social media – we'd love to hear from you! 

Preparing for SXSW is not totally unlike getting ready for any other gig, but also it's overwhelmingly different. Planning starts months ahead, and everything's amplified: more merch, extra rehearsals, a meticulously plotted travel plan, arranging accomodations – and those are just the basics. Winging it simply isn't an option.

A handful of artists performing at this year's festival gave us the rundown of how they're getting organized. We've highlighted the top tips, but we recommend reading thoroughly rather than skimming. There's a lot to consider; there could be a tidbit in here you hadn't thought about. Double, triple, quadruple check yourself, people.

sxsw, networking, road to austin

Feb 24, 2016 08:00 AM

Jhoni Jackson

Road to Austin: 5 Musicians Share Their Networking Game Plans for SXSW

Tangina Stone. (Image via sonicbids.com)

Every week leading up to SXSW, we'll be sharing the exciting journeys of Sonicbids bands from all around the world in our 2016 Road to Austin series. Follow along to get insight on the planning and preparation that goes into it, a firsthand look at life on the road, tips from SXSW veterans, and much more. Join the conversation by using #RoadToAustin on social media – we'd love to hear from you!

How many times is the average independent music publicist approached by bands or artists each year at SXSW? We don't actually know, but it's probably enough to make them wary of unfamiliar faces headed their way with a CD in hand. To be taken seriously, you'll want to be prepared with something more than that. Even better: consider expanding your idea of what networking is to begin with.

Five of the bands and artists in our pool of #RoadToAustin tipsters gave us their personal go-to angles for getting in with the right folks. Nothing's guaranteed, of course, and your own experience may require adjustments – but the methods you'll find below are excellent starting points, if not straight-up, top-notch advice.

Road to Austin: 8 Tips From Bands on How to Build Buzz and Stand Out at SXSW

Qarabagh Ensemble. (Image via sonicbids.com)

Every week leading up to SXSW, we'll be sharing the exciting journeys of Sonicbids bands from all around the world in our 2016 Road to Austin series. Follow along to get insight on the planning and preparation that goes into it, a firsthand look at life on the road, tips from SXSW veterans, and much more. Join the conversation by using #RoadToAustin on social media – we'd love to hear from you!

Last year's SXSW numbers are staggering. All of them. But for performing bands and artists, this one's especially relevant: about 11,200 events, official or otherwise, were held in 2015. That's a lot of competition, huh? Even if you're a showcasing artist, you're still up against more than 2,200 other accepted acts. Those statistics beg the question: how will you stand out?