Help send a ton of Milwaukee bands to this year’s South By Southwest
Seriously, there’s a ton of them.
Seriously, there are a ton of them.
There was a time, not too long ago, when Milwaukee had a significant presence at the annual South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. Between 2009 and 2011, more than three-dozen Brew City bands played the fest in official or unofficial capacities—bands like Altos, Collections Of Colonies Of Bees, Heidi Spencer And The Rare Birds, Jaill, and Juniper Tar. Things cooled down a bit in 2012 and 2013, with Milwaukee seemingly giving up on the increasingly bloated Austin affair. Few local groups made the pilgrimage. Few seemed to buy into the fest’s once-tantalizing promise of being “discovered” amidst eight-zillion other bands. “Why bother?” asked Milwaukee. “Did you check out the secret Dave Grohl set with Madonna and Brad Paisley?” asked SXSW.
But those were the dour, mopey bands of Milwaukee’s recent past, the kind that had grown weary of lugging their equipment halfway across the country for the slim chance of being “discovered” at the festival. Today, many Milwaukee bands are thinking positive thoughts, and they would very much like to rekindle a relationship with SXSW. Happily, a new Indiegogo campaign sponsored by MilwaukeeHome, Festival City, and The Hotel Foster is looking to help them do just that.
Why go the crowdfunding route? The organizers explain:
“Simply put. This is an expensive venture. SXSW is a great place to get noticed, get signed and expand your audience. There is one problem…money. As a general rule of thumb, bands operate at a loss to show off their chops in Austin. We don’t like that. Not one bit. Why should bands with significant finances be the only ones to represent our city when half the bands we live with and love, work their butts off with little financial support to show for it. This festival is all about the little guys…or at least it used to be. Anyway, we liked it that way, and want the Milwaukee Stage to fairly represent EVERYTHING Milwaukee has to offer musically.”
100-percent of the money raised will go towards funding the stage and paying for the travel expenses of the groups. (Unlike Kickstarter, Indiegogo pays out even if a campaign fails to reach a certain dollar amount—in this case, $20,000.) Per usual, a bunch of goodies are being offered to potential donors, including $25 gift certificates to The Hotel Foster ($25), an official #MKEXSXSW T-shirt ($50), and a custom music video from Milwaukee video artist PhillyFlyBoy ($2,000).
The campaign runs through February 17, and the music portion of this year’s SXSW runs March 11-16. Here’s hoping the campaign is a success and our local talent can make a splash amidst the Austin din. Also: Holy shit! Vampire Weekend is playing a secret set with Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen! Look, it’s Mark Zuckerberg! Mindy Kaling! Grumpy Cat! Good luck, Milwaukee!