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Taking in the music, the street life of Austin and more! My first SXSW experience

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Taking in the music, the street life of Austin and more! My first SXSW experience

The 2019 South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festivals has wrapped up after a successful event that was a ten-day whirlwind of enlightening and inspiring sessions, film screenings, showcases, exhibitions, tacos, networking, art, competitions, awards, and more. 

Taking in the music, the street life of Austin and more!  My first SXSW experience
Taking in the music, the street life of Austin and more! My first SXSW experience

This year’s edition was my first, and it came with a lot of learning for me. Unfortunately, due to the travel expenses, I couldn’t be in Austin for the entire duration so I flew there during the last weekend to explore what SXSW was indeed about.  

Although I could not attend any of the SXSW Conferences, they featured some of the most inspired thinkers and industry leaders; including powerful presentations by SXSW Keynote speakers, T Bone Burnett, Kathy Griffin and Kara Swisher, Bozoma Saint John and Ashley Graham, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, Olivia Wilde, and many more.

Among the Featured Speakers were Stacey Abrams, Neil Gaiman, A$AP Rocky, Esther Perel, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Trevor Noah and The Daily Show News Team, Jonah Peretti, and more.

Yes, clearly I missed out on a lot of the good stuff. But as a bearer of a music pass, I made show my weekend in Austin was an experience of the street life, music performances, carnivals and more. I was particularly impressed with the scooter culture on the streets around the Austin Convention Centre, the main grounds for SXSW. 

The Music Festival turned up the sound with new, developing, and established Showcasing Artists across all genres from local to international acts. This year’s audible feast included indie rockers The Beths; DC punk group Priests, Swedish rapper and Sad Boys frontman Yung Lean, buzzy Australian singer-songwriter Angie McMahon, seven-piece band Black Pumas; alternative R&B singer/producer Kevin George, British singer Yola; R&B sensation Khalid; the legendary Patty Griffin; soulful pop performer Omar Apollo; South Korean rapper Jvcki Wai; and thousands more. The Music Festival wrapped up with the announcement of the 2019 Grulke Prize winners for Developing U.S. Act, Developing Non-U.S. Act, and Career Act – Pink Sweat$, Angie McMahon, and The Chills.

While there I was able to attend the Music is Culture: Official SXSW Showcase at the Belmont, where I experience the talent of budding acts in rap, R&B and even Afrobeats including Exit 21,  Neigborhood CEO, Biggie Babylon and More. Mr Eazi was also on the bill but I didn’t get to see him, as I kept shuffling between venues and the street festivities on that night.

On the Saturday, I decided to just do the Africa To The World Showcase and oh what a fun experience it was. I will share that in a separate blog soon. So stay tuned.

Watch all my highlights below:

Ameyaw Kissi Debrah, known professionally as Ameyaw Debrah, is a Ghanaian celebrity blogger, freelance journalist, and reporter.

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