#SXSW – Geldof Speaks, MarchFourth Dazzles, Agents & Talent Buyers Meet & Much More

image from www.1-800-translate.com The clouds cleared and the SXSXW mayhem mixed with St. Patrick's Day madness throughout Austin yesterday as the city and its music industry visitors turned things up to 10. Some highlights:  In his SXSW keynote Bob Geldof declared that "America's great cultural gift to the world, might be over"...Rock 'n' roll needs to be against something. It can't just BE,"

..."It always needs a function in which to function." Geldof continued. "Of course there are great songs. There will always be great songs that don't suggest anything other than being a great song. But … where are our Ramones or our Sex Pistols today? Do we need them? Yes is the answer. Will they be found? Maybe not."

  • Later Geldof payed a performance at the gorgeous new home of Austin City Limits next to the W Hotel and the crowd waiting to get in were treated to a street performance by outrageous MarchFourth Marching Band.  Watch for them in showcases over the next few days and on 6th Street tonight. Tell your friends.
  • At a closed door meeting of agents and talent buyers, many wondered allowed if Live Nation weren't suffering from a brain drain after recent departures.  Most in the room we're optimistic about the opening that leaves them particularly in smaller venues.
  • I totally enjoyed sharing the stage with Bandzoogle's David Dufresne, Aaron Ray of the Collective, Emily White of Whitesmith Entertainment and Trevor Guy of Last Gang Records during the "Website? Get Real. You Need A Web Empire" panel.  Many takeaways including: the need for authenticity, the importance of YouTube, the rise of mobile and above all the value of having a fan;s email address. Emily likes to call email addresses  "the band's retirement plan".  Well put.
  • Following a trend I first started to feel at Midem, there's a real sense of hope at SXSW that the new digital music discovery and social marketing tools are starting to show results; and a believe that a new, more open and artist friendly music industry is emerging.

The doom and gloom is passed. A new day is dawning. And its great to be at the launch party.

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