At SXSW, there is lots of hype. People try to over-hype their events so that it will be the thing people are talking about. This year’s most overly-hyped events include the mtvU Woodie Awards, Jimmy Kimmel, and Samsung.
1. mtvU Woodie Awards
Every year the mtvU Woodie Awards take place in Austin, Texas during the SXSW Music portion of the festival. This year, Jack Antonoff of Bleachers was the host, and would be introducing some incredible acts including Big Sean, Fall Out Boy, Years & Years, Misterwives, Clean Bandit, Rae Sremmurd, Robert DeLong, and more. This event is streamed live online, and the entire thing felt like a huge production (which it is essentially). However, the event focused less on the music and more on getting through the show seamlessly. The rain already made the event miserable, but on top of that some of the big name artists they announced only played one song. For example Years & Years played their new single, and that’s it. Even Fall Out Boy’s set only lasted maybe five minutes. So why did people show up to this event? The whole thing was over-hyped. I feel bad for all the die-hard fans who waited six or more hours in line to see their favorite artist play for only a few minutes. That’s not what SXSW is about!
2. Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Much like the mtvU Woodies, Jimmy Kimmel was too much of a production. Yes, it’s televised which is understandable, but I honestly wouldn’t waste my time there ever again. You wait for about four hours and see maybe an hour of Kimmel himself. The event is overly anticipated because an ‘exclusive’ late night performer is leaving one big city to perform in another. Why is that so great? You basically get to sit in an auditorium and watch skits on a gigantic TV that have been previously recorded. Once the show moved on to the live performace portion of the ordeal, there was just further disappointment. Spoon was there to play one of the first nights on Kimmel. As great as the local band is, there were technical difficulties so the audience had to watch Spoon play the same song about two or three times. Not fun. Next year avoid all the hype about Kimmel and spend four hours doing something exciting like discovering new artists! After all isn’t that what SXSW is about?
Samsung always does it big for SXSW…well, usually. This year people on social media were stoked to discover who Samsung would be bringing out to this year’s festival. In years past they’ve had Jay-Z, Kanye West, Prince, and more. This year their lineup included Iggy Azalea, Hot Chip, and ASAP Rocky, and no one really seemed to be buzzing about it. Some people on the streets were even commenting on the fact last year was Iggy’s ‘year at South By,’ and that she almost seemed irrelevant. Regardless, people still showed up to the event, but maybe next year the lineup will be a little more badass like in years past.