Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014

Milwaukee Is Doing SXSW Right This Year

By Evan Rytlewski
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Remember how Milwaukee more or less sat out Austin's South By Southwest music festival last year? Well this year it's making good in epic fashion. More than two dozen acts from the Milwaukee area will play the festival as part of a showcase organized by Milwaukeehome, including Boy Blue, Temple, The Championship, Hugh Bob and the Hustle, Soul Low, Midnight Reruns, Vic and Gab and a murderers' row of rappers. The whole lineup is listed on the image above; organizers expect it to grow in the coming weeks. The Milwaukeehome Stage runs from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Wednesday, March 12 at 505 Neches St.

It's easy to dismiss SXSW's value as a music conference and write the whole festival off as a big, inconsequential party. And indeed, in recent years the festival hasn't been terribly effective at helping unknown independent bands grow their audience. But the festival still has real power to shape narratives, and with so many Milwaukee bands gathered in one place (and many of the acts on the Milwaukeehome bill slated to do multiple showcase performances during the festival's run), Milwaukee will have perhaps the biggest presence it's ever had down there this year. If nothing else, this is great branding for a city hasn't always been very successful at spreading word of its music scene.
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