Photo: Willobee Carlan/NV89

Gracie And Rachel at Stubb’s 2018 SXSW, Austin, TX

Every spring, musicians, artists, high-tech gurus, and anyone looking for the next cool thing head to Austin, Texas for the South By Southwest Festival.

The festival is a chance for artists and innovators from varied disciplines to converge and create.

But it started out as a festival for emerging artists to show their stuff on stage. Musicians from around the country come to the festival to perform in small clubs and large venues.

Music is everywhere in Austin this time of year, which is why Willobee Carlan, program director and afternoon host for Nevada Public Radio's NV89, is in Texas. 

“It’s like my annual pilgrimage to my city of music discovery,” he said.

The festival gives musicians a chance to get their music in front of music and radio industry people in hopes of getting some attention.

Willobee said he's there as part of his job as programme director but also he's there as a music fan.

“I’m seeing bands that I already know but I’m discovering bands that I’ve never heard of, never seen before," he said, "I get to bring that home with me and share those artists on air at NV89.”

Willobee said it's not just about musicians with a dream to make it big there is also a film festival and technology section. 

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“South By Southwest can be one of those places where you find new technology to help the music business,” he said.

There are also dozens of panels and workshops on music, film and interactive media.

So far,  Willobee recommends the music of  Mt. Joy and Gracie and Rachel. Friday afternoon, he's introducing the band The Shacks on one of the many stages at the festival. The hope is that music and radio people from around the world will hear them and put them into heavy rotation.

“It’s really good for artists to use [SXSW] as a springboard,” he said.

From NPR: SXSW 2018





Willobee Carlan, Program Director and afternoon host at NV89, Reno.

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