Adelaide group The Coconut Kids recently completed a successful debut run at SXSW in Austin, Texas – taking part in what is easily, one of the world’s biggest showcases of new music. For the French-inspired indie folk group, the trip took them all the way from South Oz to some of the richest areas of music in the US.
Reflecting on their time abroad, they bring us five lessons learned.
THERE IS SO MUCH GOOD MUSIC OUT THERE
You don’t realise how small Australia’s music scene really is until you head to Austin. Wow, just wow. There’s like over 2,000 bands playing a showcase during SXSW and we were blown away by genres we didn’t even know exist.
And even outside the official showcases, there were some sweet, sweet local bands. We managed to run into the craziest piano playing dentist at a kebab shop – check out http://drjoemusic.com– and saw some of the most amazing bands at the local venue The White Horse.
You head to Austin and you’re bound to blown away by both the quality & quantity of tunes.
SHOWCASES ARE SO ODD
There’s a really odd vibe when it comes to official showcases. It’s hard to put your finger on, however many industry figures are there to check out the potential of an artist to sell records, concert halls etc. Which means, you’ll have often get to see some big name aussie artists playing to about 50 industry folk who are all standing around networking. The vibe is different than your typical festival. The upside is you can literally get within a few feet of your favourite Aussie artists and use the dance floor unimpeded.
AUSTIN IS BEAUTIFULLY WEIRD
Austin is proud of being something of a cultural oasis in an area that’s well known for cowboys and rodeos. (And yes, we did actually go to a Rodeo – which is totally worth it).
The locals pride themselves on quirkiness and being different and it’s beautiful. For example, on our local bus commute we were introduced to a ferrets on leasehs.
And our AirBnb campground doubled up as a goat farm / chicken coop with barnyard animals quite literally joining us in our tent.
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD
If you come to SXSW, please, just expect to put on a few kilos. Texan food is outrageously delicious and the servings are outrageously big. We certainly made the most of it – and yes, think Burgers, Turkey Legs & Chicken Waffles.
To say SXSW is hectic would be an understatement. It’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement of all so if you do make the trip as a band, a manager or just a festival goer, you’re going to want a week post-festival to catch up on some sleep.
To find out more about The Coconut Kids, head here.