Every March, music aficionados and fans alike head to Austin, Texas for the renowned SXSW festival and it's only a natural fit for Pandora to be there too. We are excited that, for the first time ever, we will have an official presence at the festival.
Because Pandora enriches the lives of music fans by helping them discover and rediscover music they love, we are bringing that concept to life with the Pandora Discovery Den. The Pandora Discovery Den will be hosted at the legendary Austin venue Antone's from Tuesday, March 13 through Friday, March 16.
We will treat attendees to a variety of live musical performances, spanning from Rock to Hip Hop to Americana, including Theophilus London, WALK THE MOON, Gary Clark Jr and Bahamas. Attendees will also have the chance to win daily raffles with limited-edition items, participate in hands-on technology demos and much more!
Our founder, Tim Westergren, will kick-off the Discovery Den on March 13th at 5 p.m. with a happy hour DJ event, followed by performances by We Are Augustines and Band of Skulls at 8 p.m. Daytime programming will begin daily at 12:30 p.m.
Additionally, Tim will be giving a couple presentations at the Austin Convention Center that SXSW attendees can't miss! On March 13th (3:30 - 4:30 p.m.), he will be discussing "The Evolving Role of Radio" and Pandora's role in that transition. Then, on Tuesday, March 14th (5 - 6 p.m.), for the first time publicly, he will conduct a live music DNA Analysis and showcase how the Music Genome Project works.
And, of course, don't forget to check out our live Twitter feed from SXSW (@Pandora_radio) and to watch for the latest updates by following hashtag: #PandoraATX.
Admission to the Pandora Discovery Den is free with an advance RSVP (visit http://www.pandora.com/pandoraATX for complete line-ups); SXSW badges will also be honored at the door. If you're headed to Austin, we hope to see you there!
- The Pandora Team
We did it! Weeks of late nights and early mornings, hundreds of tacos and thousands of music fans and now we are home from hosting our first official showcase at the South by Southwest festival in Austin TX: Pandora's very own Discovery Den.
This year the music portion of SXSW saw at least 25,000 attendees, hundreds of venues and more than 2,000 bands of every genre possible. The festival is a place where lesser known artists become discovered as well as where popular artists often show up as special guests. Some of the festival's top names this year included Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Jack White and Kanye West. At the Pandora Discovery Den, we featured four days and nights of amazing music including acts like Band of Skulls, Big K.R.I.T., Glen Hansard and Gary Clark Jr. The place was packed and people seemed to be having a good time, which we love!
Bruce Springsteen reflected on the festival in his keynote address:
"The word 'keynote' made me uncomfortable. It seemed to suggest that there was a key note to be struck that sums up whatever is going on out there in the streets: five days of bands, hundreds of venues, morning to night. And no one hardly agrees on anything in pop anymore. There is no key note. I don't think. There's no unified theory of everything. You can ask Einstein."
We hosted the Pandora Discovery Den at Antone's, a historical Austin night club that helped launch the career of Stevie Ray Vaughan and many others. Keynote or not, it was invigorating to see so many hard working artists bringing their best to the stage night after night. Dedication, creativity and well executed performances did not go unnoticed. We heard people talking about starting new Pandora stations based on the artists they were hearing.
Later in Springsteen's talk, he identified the power and purpose of music as a unifying characteristic:
"Purity of human expression is not confined to guitars... There's no right way of doing it, there's just doing it. We live in a post authentic world... It's the power and purpose of your music that still matters."
Four days and nights of music at the Pandora Discovery Den, inspired by The Boss' thoughtful words, running on very little sleep, powered by Texas BBQ and burritos, we were also reminded of the overwhelming power of music. Thank you SXSW and thank you to all of the musicians!
- Aaron (Community Manager)
(Lower Photo: Gary Clark Jr. performing at the Pandora Discovery Den at SXSW 2012)