Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Austin’s premiere festival was held virtually last year. 2022 was the first year back, and Austin made sure to take advantage. So many people were out and about, pedicabs took over the downtown areas – the city was so lively and it felt great. This year’s artist lineup was so diverse and grand, it was impossible to catch everyone on our watchlist! BUT, we did catch some really great acts and showcases, here is a recap from the past weekend.
March 17th, 2022
Surfbort at Lost Weekend (Cheer Up Charlie’s)
Lost Weekend was an official day party held at Cheer Up Charlie’s that hosted lots of SXSW’s most anticipated acts like Yard Act, Claud and Luna Li. While it was drizzling a bit, SURFBORT took the outdoor stage after the immaculate Cassandra Jenkins. Vibrant lead singer Dani Miller was screaming the lyrics while jumping around all over the stage, and it definitely got everyone moving.
Ceramic Animal at the Radio Day Stage (Austin Convention Center)
The Radio Day Stage is a SXSW tradition where all kinds of artists perform live and are broadcast on radio stations across the nation. Ceramic Animal performed at 3PM after Sunflower Bean, and their performance was the most soothing part of the day. They played their hits like “Tangled.”
Doc Martens Official Showcase (Container Bar)
This lineup was absolutely STACKED – Faux Real, bbymutha and MUNA, all back to back! Faux Real was definitely one of the best performances at the fest, as they did lots of synchronized dancing and had good interaction with the crowd. bbymutha performed next, and while she had lots of technical difficulties, her performance was definitely worthwhile. Last up was MUNA, who performed their hits like “I Know a Place” and “Silk Chiffon.” The night before, MUNA performed at the Saddest Factory Records Corporate Retreat with Phoebe Bridgers, which we were unfortunately not able to attend due to travel delays.
IAN SWEET at Polyvinyl and Double Double Whammy Showcase (Cheer Up Charlie’s)
Final Showcase / Performer of the night was IAN SWEET. Her outfit fit her personality and her music was so relaxing. Fans were screaming at her throughout the show, where she continuously exclaimed she loved everyone.
March 18th, 2022
Wet Leg at the Radio Day Stage (Austin Convention Center)
Wet Leg is on the rise and they proved their worth at SXSW. They were one of the main acts to take the Radio Day stage, and the room was packed with Wet Leg fans. Radio hosts told everyone to be as loud as possible because they were broadcasting live, and fans did not disappoint.
Best Coast at Wasserman’s Inaugural Day Party (Mohawk Austin)
Best Coast announced that they would be playing this showcase about a week before the start of the festival. Best Coast had to cancel multiple tours due to the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic, so it was definitely a surprise! Their set did not disappoint, as they played hits from their first album Crazy for You and new tracks from their *new* album Always Tomorrow. Wet Leg also performed after Best Coast, and they played the same set from earlier at Radio Day Stage.
SASAMI and Bad Bad Hats at the Hi, How Are You: The Unfinished Fest Showcase (Mohawk Austin)
The last event of the night was the Hi, How Are You Showcase at Mohawk, which was announced a couple days before the event. It had acts such as Faux Real and Japanese Breakfast. We were only able to catch SASAMI and Bad Bad Hats due to the long lines outside of Mohawk, but the performances were UNBELIEVABLE. SASAMI’s set had loads of crowdsurfers and mosh pits, and Bad Bad Hats closed out the nights with their melodious sounds.
March 19th, 2022
Keynote Session: Michelle Zauner from Japanese Breakfast
Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast was the closing keynote session for SXSW 2022, where she discussed her life, her book Crying in H-Mart, music career and future endeavors. She was very thorough in her conversation and was very interactive with the fans in the crowd. Before the keynote session, a cool DJ that goes by Sofika played a small immersive set.
UO Live in Austin (Space 24Twenty)
The next and final SXSW event was the UO Live in Austin showcase that occurred near UT Austin. The heat was definitely hitting, but everyone seemed to care more about the free goodies and the performers that were set to take the stage. First artist was Baird, who was then followed by Niko Rubio. Japanese Breakfast ended the event, and it was absolutely magical. There were even fans watching the show in the garages next to the venue, which just made it all the more memorable.