By Madison Tyson
Assistant Multimedia Director
This spring break, I was able to photograph the SXSW 2018 Music Festival for KTSW. While on Sixth St. in Austin. During SXSW Music, one sees all types of street performers. From rappers to jugglers, from piano players performance artists, and from a one-man-band to a solo singer with only their speaker to back them up. I had to walk up and down Sixth St. countless times that week. I slowly came to the realization that the street performers are the heart of SXSW Music.
I used to find street performers to be either too loud or too obnoxious; mostly, I had an irrational fear that they would grab me for some sort of audience participation type of thing. What I now understand is that street performers are really only there to either get their name out into the music industry, enjoy performing for others, or simply put a smile on someone’s face. The vibe of SXSW Music would not be the same without them. They provide the essential background music and the exciting entertainment for festival goers while they are not inside an official venue. It is part of the SXSW Music experience to be walking along Sixth St. and watch the street performers.
These are some of my favorite street performers I encountered. Maybe you will see them and begin to understand why they are clearly the quintessence of SXSW.
Wearing a crazy hat and a kilt, this street performer gathered a large crowd.
Grinning guitar player, Charles Rangel, fills the air with angelic melodies.
Hair flowing in the wind, skin glowing in the sun, Charles Rangel graces everyone with his instrumental sounds.
Life’s easier when your heart has a beat.
It was this band’s first time performing on the street during SXSW.
There’s a time and bass for everything.
As people walk by, Crystal Clayton grabs their attention with her hot pink hair and electronic-infused R&B sound.
Along with many other street performers, Crystal Clayton has someone handing out business cards for her.
“Don’t move!” Vincent S. Vasquez warned me as I snapped this photo.
Dressed in St. Patrick’s Day attire, Vincent S. vasquez and his partner juggle around willing participants.
No street performer is complete without shiny pants and doggy shoes.
Local San Martian, Jimmy Way, went all the way into Austin to perform.
Emergency Rhythm Vehicle
Rumor has it, Jimmy Way drove his Emergency Rhythm Vehicle all the way up on I-35.
Maybe not all street performers want to put a smile on your face.
All photos by Madison Tyson.
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