Music at SXSW 2023: What We Know So Far
Written by Keylee Paz on January 25, 2023
South by Southwest is making its return to the heart of Austin to celebrate all things interactive, film, television and music.
The SXSW® Conference & Festival is one of Austin’s most treasured events that’s been going on since its inauguration in 1987. After taking a pause in 2020 due to the pandemic and offering on online version of the event in 2021, SXSW returned to the in-person festivities and events in 2022. The streets of Downtown Austin were full of people with similar interests regarding the entertainment industry, proving that the festival made a lively comeback. 2022 featured premieres of hit movies such as (now Oscar Nominated) Everything Everywhere All at Once, X, The Lost City and Bodies Bodies Bodies, along with celebrity appearances from Lizzo, Dolly Parton and Beck. The music portion of the festival was definitely the biggest highlight of 2022, which hosted up and coming acts such as Wet Leg, Japanese Breakfast, Faux Real, Bad Bad Hats, SASAMI and so many more.
As always, SXSW has begun announcing their festival lineups, including artists set to appear throughout the week. While more artists will be announced as well as official music showcase events, here are a few artists on our radar this year, including local Houston artist and wider/international artists.
First Showcase Artist Announcement: Our Picks
This announcement included over a hundred artists, including a few local acts from Texas. A few Texas artists include Die Spitz (“Grip,” “Barricade“), Big Bill (“Bigger Than Me,” “What Do You Want On Your Salad?“), and Why Bonnie (“Stereo,” “Practice“). An Austin Favorite everyone needs to see at least once during the festival is the eclectic TC Superstar, who are known 80s synthwave music and ingenious choreographed performance. Led by the talented Connor McCampell, TC Superstar returns to SXSW this year to wow audiences with their catchy songs like “Into You” and “Waste My Time.” According to their website, the band is currently working on an album about what it means to “watch television.” Maybe with this message, fans will get a glimpse of what is yet to come.
There have also been a few well-known acts that were announced, including Armani White (from Philadelphia). White is known for TikTok hit “BILLIE EILISH,” which led to viral status when Billie Eilish herself shared the song. He also has tracks with Denzel Curry and N.O.R.E, along with more singles in the works for release. Other TikTok artists set to appear at the festival include Cafuné (“Tek It“), Rosie Darling (“Coping“) and CHROMA (“Whatcha Say“).
SXSW is also the place to discover your favorite international artists, and this first round was full of so many great bands from different genres. One artist that is definitely worth highlighting would be the inclusion of iLe, a former member of Puerto Rican band Calle 13 and grammy winner known for tracks like “Lo Que Yo Quería” and “donde nadie más Respira.” iLe has collaborations with the world’s hottest latino artists such as Bad Bunny, Mon Laferte and half-brother Residente. Other notable international artists set to perform at SXSW include The Vices ( from the Netherlands), Omega Sapien (from South Korea), Haley Warner (from Australia), and HARU NEMURI (from Japan).
Second Showcase Artist Announcement: Our Picks
While the first announcement was a great introduction to music at SXSW, the second announcement full of about 300 new artists was another one full of surprises. A few artists that really stood out were those that are returning to the festival this year, such as Sunflower Bean (“Moment in the Sun,” “Harvest Moon“), Strawberry Guy (“Mrs Magic,” “F Song“) and Luna Luna (“Commitment,” “For You“).
This year would also mark the festival debut for Houston-native and soul singer Micah Edwards. Edwards, also known as Mr. Texas Soul, has served as a soul staple in Houston’s local music scene, garnering him attention on NPR music, Houston Press, White Oak Music Hall and various other independent magazines. Serving as an official artist for SXSW, Edwards will be taking the stage with other astounding singer-songwriters and will sing his known hits such as “Moments” and “All for You.”
South by Southwest will be held in Austin, Texas from March 10th through March 19th; the music festival and showcases will primarily occur from March 13th through March 18th. Purchase your badges here; University of Houston students may also take advantage of SXSW’s student discount for any badge type (including Music and Platinum) while supplies last.