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As South By Southwest Grows, Bands Need Established Following To Get Noticed

Jared and The Mill.
(Photo by Sarah Ventre - KJZZ)
Phoenix band Jared & The Mill plays at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

South by Southwest, one of the largest music festivals in the country, is underway in Austin, Texas.

Thousands of musicians converge in the city to play shows, and hopefully to expand their audience.

In downtown Austin, there is music pouring out of every bar, restaurant and coffee shop. Every time you turn the corner you hear something new. The sidewalks are crowded with people, and most of the eight musical acts from Arizona are scheduled to play Thursday and Friday night as part of showcases at different venues around town.

One of the artists KJZZ’s Sarah Ventre spoke with who has been to South by Southwest a number of times said that when the festival was newer, bands would come here hoping to get discovered, gain a following, maybe even sign to a record label. Now that it’s much bigger, artists often have to already be somewhat known to be part of the official event.

Still, many artists see this as an opportunity for more exposure and touring possibilities, as well as to grow their fan base.

Sarah Ventre was a producer for KJZZ's The Show from 2014 to 2018.