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SXSW 2018.

Over the course of just a few days, the SXSW team visited countless panels, alumni events, and showcases. By spreading out and picking the ones of the schedule that we personally liked, we were able to cover the most intellectual ground — learning and meeting new people as much as we could. Here’s a short recap of the events we attended.


Panels

Learning from the best and brightest in the industry.

Unlocking the Future of Music with Transparency
This panel featured Maura Corbett, CEO of Glen Echo Group; Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros; Panos Panay, Founding Managing Director at Sonicbids; and Hank Shocklee, owner of Shocklee Entertainment. These professionals discussed how increased transparency in artist compensation would impact the music industry. They discussed how money from music has shifted to other industries, comparing the $6 billion music industry to the $30 billion Apple App Store industry, and how we can turn music’s social currency into real currency. They also discussed how we can educate music consumers to care where their money goes, drawing inspiration from the growing organic produce industry.

Representations of Women in Music Media
Lead by Fabi Reyna, Editor in Chief of She Shreds magazine, this panel discussed how female musicians are represented in the media and what improvements have been made and what still needs to change. Featuring drummer Kiran Gandhi, guitarist Sadie Dupuis, Tom Barnes from Mic, and Michele Fleischli from Windish Agency, the panel discussed feminism entering mainstream culture and the role of media directing the conversation. One of the key takeaways is that music journalists need to be careful not to pigeon-hole female musicians by asking questions about their experiences with misogyny, sexism, and feminism, unless they make clear that they want to discuss those topics.

Stream to Ticket: Mapping the Value of Discovery
Featuring Rob Bonstein of Windish Agency, Shana Fong of Eventbrite, Charlie Hellman of Spotify, and Chris Sampson of Superfly, this panel discussed how we can turn streaming into festival and concert tickets sales. Although downloads and CD sales are declining, revenue from live music is growing, and there are new data tools being introduced by Spotify and Eventbrite to help agents and festival organizers push streamers to support artists through live music.

From Dive Bars to the Billboard Charts – X Ambassadors, an Artist Development Case Study
This panel was a case study of the development of X Ambassadors from their youth in Ithaca, NY to the success that they have reached today. The panel featured Robbie Lloyd, who signed the band to Interscope; Seth Kallen, their manager; Greg Johnson, their publisher at Songs Music Publishing; David Galea, their agent; and Sam Harris of X Ambassadors. The panel discussed the importance of licensing in X Ambassdors’ success and touring strategies for bands just starting out.

Alumni Event

Old and new Huskies unite!

Hosted at Cedar Door in the heart of downtown Austin, our Northeastern alumni event gave alumni a relaxing escape from the craziness of SXSW. With amazing food and drinks in hand, forty guests enjoyed music from Big Phony and Still Parade. Dave Barry was also there to showcase his company Moniker Guitars. It was amazing to see alumni connect from previous years and hear about their success. We could not have done it without the help of Reid Mangan, who drove Adam and Quinn out to rent sound equipment and helped set it all up at the venue.

It was very meaningful and inspiring for us to meet with these passionate alumni and hear about what they were doing in Austin, at SXSW, and in the music industry. We hope that this tradition continues and grows into a cornerstone of SXSW for alumni and a meaningful reminder of the community that exists at Northeastern. Check out the full Facebook live-stream takeover by us here!


Showcases

Music with a purpose.

SXgood
Help Adopt Austin Shelter Dogs with the ASPCA – Of course, the SXSW team discovered that there would be dogs at SXSW on day one. We checked out the Palm Door on Sixth, where the outdoor patio bar was covered with adoptable dogs thanks to the ASPCA. The Palm Door was used by SXgood all week, a component of SXSW focused on non-profit organizations.

YouTube Music at Coppertank
YouTube took over Coppertank Event Center on Trinity Street for the week. Produced by Superfly, a popular destination for Northeastern music industry co-op students, YouTube’s indoor lounge was a haven from all the hustle and bustle of downtown Austin, complete with complimentary cocktails, gourmet popcorn, and hor d’oeuvres. Unfortunately, the SXSW Team discovered the YouTube activation on the last day, however, that didn’t stop us from enjoying the relaxing atmosphere and up-and-coming acts like Lewis del Mar and MUNA.