#SXSW 2016: PledgeMusic, Noisetrade Chronicle A Whirlwind Week

2Even before yesterday’s big announcement, it’s been a momentous month at PledgeMusic including a trip to SXSW. Here Benji Rogers, Mike Fordham and Derek Webb share impressions of this years fest, and the opportunities to be found at a music industry event of this scale.


Guest post from PledgeMusic News

Mike Fordham says it best: SXSW is a “whirling dervish” of a week. PledgeMusic’s A&R Manager was just one of a few representatives from PledgeMusic and NoiseTrade on the ground in Austin this year.

Both Fordham and PledgeMusic co-founder Benji Rogers spoke at a few panels on topics ranging from reaching college audiences to connecting artists with fans.

“To me, SXSW is a whirling dervish; the festival swings by in a frenzy and then after a few days of madness, finally dissipates — only to come back again next year,” said Fordham. “It’s a heady mix of fun, exhaustion, joy and a sense of overwhelming. Trying to describe the feeling of being in Austin during SXSW is nearly impossible.

Tab_widthPhoto: Brad Candia

“It truly is a beast unto itself,” he continued. “You can see music from 6 a.m. to 4 a.m. every day, if you so choose. If you simply want to ping-pong between bars on Sixth Street (the de facto epicenter of the festival), you absolutely can. You can check out all the taco bars, honky tonks and the laid back atmosphere that is indicative of Austin in the South Congress area. If the coolest up-and-coming bands playing in the hippest shows (Fader Fort, Spotify House, etc.) in the trendy part of town is up your alley, grab a bike and trek out to East Austin. Or if you plan right, try to do a combination of all three.

Tab_widthPhoto: Brad Candia

“In retrospect, SXSW can be maddening in the lead-up to the festival and you’re usually happy when its all over, but when you’re standing there amongst hundreds of bands and thousands of passionate music fans, there’s no other place on Earth you’d rather be.”

The musical highlights from this year’s South by Southwest festivities included two days of stellar music hosted by NoiseTrade and sponsored by The Frye Company. Frye Days featured a wide range of artists, including several PledgeMusic alumni.


Photo: Brad Candia

“Events like the Frye Days parties in Austin remind us why we do what we do,” said NoiseTrade’s Derek Webb. “NoiseTrade exists to connect artists with their fans, and help fans find the artists they love, and nothing better demonstrates that than hosting 22 bands over 2 days in one of the coolest venues in Austin.

“Add two days of packed crowds, the support and partnership of one of the all-time coolest fashion brands around, The Frye Company, and artist Drew Holcomb’s innovative new monthly vinyl subscription service Magnolia Record Club, and there’s no way it wasn’t going to be the highlight of our year.”


Photo: Brad Candia

“SXSW was a but of a blur, but then again it always is and I mean that in the best possible way,” said Rogers. “Getting to reconnect with all of the amazing artists, managers and labels that we’ve worked with over the years is always an enlightening and gratifying experience. The added element of getting to introduce NoiseTrade, & Set.FM made this all the more fun. Now I need some sleep.”

MORE: PledgeMusic Names Dominic Pandiscia CEO As Popular Founder Benji Rogers Shifts Gear 

It Was The Most Important Day For Direct To Fan Music Since Launches Of CDBaby, Tunecore

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