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Come along with us to this year's South by Southwest

Three women smile while walking on a sidewalk over a bridge in a big city with a capitol dome out of focus in the distance behind them.
Aaron Rogsin

According to the Wikisphere, "South by Southwest, abbreviated as SXSW and colloquially referred to as South By, is an annual conglomeration of parallel film, interactive media and music festival and conferences organized jointly that take place in mid-March in Austin, Texas. It began in 1987 and has continued to grow in both scope and size every year."

That all changed in 2020, as the pandemic forced the long-running festival to pause until its hybrid return in 2022. But now 2023 is here, and South By is in full go mode.

Radio Milwaukee is sending me to Austin to build important relationships, expand my knowledge of the radio business and set forth on a quest to discover new music. I'm going to bring you along on that journey, so keep an eye on the 88Nine and HYFIN Instagram accounts for a SXSW takeover.

But, with 2,000-plus events and sessions taking place this year, I needed to start by making some decisions and narrowing things down to a managable schedule. First and foremost, I'll sit and listen in on sessions that touch on mental health in the music industry, the impact of mass music creation in our world, going viral and more. Secondly, I'll spend time with people from some of the great promotional companies that deliver music to radio stations like 88Nine and HYFIN.

Then there's the shows. I am so pumped to discover some great artists in a live setting, including a few absolute must-sees:

ena mori

This singer-songwriter ena mori started her musical journey very young as a classical pianist. She now uses her dynamic range of different musical influences and art to create a refreshingly new pop sound. Mori is the definition of a multi-talented musician, and I can't wait to see her and her bandmates live and in the flesh.

Y La Bamba

I have a soft spot for Luz Elena Mendoza Ramos, who performs as Y La Bamba. In 2019, inside our Radio Milwaukee vehicle during Los Dells Fest, I had the honor of having a conversation with Mendoza about life, family and music. A portion of our talk can be found on a really cool episode of NPR's Alt.Latino called "Latin Music in The Heartland." Hopefully, we continue our conversation in Texas.

Thee Sacred Souls

To be honest, there are so many shows and amazing acts to take in at SXSW 2023. But Thee Sacred Souls are really special and absolutely buzzing in the music world right now. They'll play the Public Radio Day Stage on March 17 with Hermano Gutiérrez, Debby Friday and Aoife Nessa Frances, and we'll broadcast the entire show live on 88Nine from 2 to 6 p.m.

88Nine Asst. Program Director / On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee