The Other Side of SXSW

By Renee Dominguez
Staff Photographer

I recently had an amazing opportunity to work for South by Southwest (SXSW) 2017 this past week. Over the course of that week, I saw a lot. Although I was fortunate enough to attend the film and interactive parts of SXSW, my heart was impatiently waiting for the music portion and thus led to the majority of my pictures. These photographs include bands and artists that are unknown but talented, small but loud, and definitely on the rise. I have no doubt, that if you don’t already know some of them, you will very soon!

When I attended my orientation meeting for SXSW, I learned about their mission statement. It stated that SXSW is about “helping creative people achieve their goals.” This was definitely the feel that I got from walking around Austin. There was literally music on every street downtown. Any and all types of music could be heard. And the best part?! Anyone could pop in and take a listen. With the exception of the venues that were bought out by big brand names (i.e. Youtube, Pandora, and Apple) that sold their own wristbands. Aside from that, it is the golden opportunity for bands to showcase their raw talent and their deep passion through their music. SXSW gives bands from around the world the opportunity to play to an audience that is simply there for the art of music. I walked into a couple of venues not knowing what to expect, but now some of those bands/artist are on my Spotify. I wanted to capture some shots of the crowd during the performances because I loved seeing how the music was touching them. I love watching live music, myself. It’s my favorite thing in the world. I love to see the passion in a guitarist’s eyes when they perform that solo they have been practicing for weeks. I love to feel the connection that the lead singer creates with the crowd of strangers that know all the words to his/her songs. And I love to see the group of friends onstage giving the performance they have been dreaming of ever since they started jamming together in someone’s bedroom. I hope I captured some of those moments to share with you all. Enjoy, and rock on.

All photos by Renee Dominguez.

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