Michael Hargis and Clay Nutting are packing up TBD Fest and taking the festival’s ethos to Austin. In partnership with San Francisco-based music blog Beautiful Buzzz, the TBD name will be attached to the largest unofficial music showcase coinciding with the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival – TBD Austin.
Hargis and Nutting teamed up with with Beautiful Buzzz founder Erin Maher for summer’s three-day music festival in West Sacramento. Things went so well they decided to take TBD to Austin.
This will be Maher’s fifth year putting together the music showcase. She said attaching the TBD brand to the event just made sense.
“It’s another way to get the TBD name into the world and have the industry take notice,” Mahe said. “[SXSW] is really a place you go to market your brand to the industry and for someone like me who runs a blog - I’m all about exposing new music to people.”
That’s the same attitude Nutting and Hargis take when booking TBD Fest, and LAUNCH before that. Nutting said it's not all about hearing the big thing, it's about hearing the next big thing.
“The Future Islands three years ago - when they played LAUNCH nobody knew them. But Hargis said these guys are going to be huge - and sure enough they were,” Nutting said.
Music discovery is a huge part of Maher's vision for the showcase.
“We have big name acts to draw people in, but it’s really more about the quality of the music you’ll see here,” he said. “A lot of people will say I came here to see one band and now I can’t leave.”
It’s hard to leave because as soon as one band finishes their 30-minute set, a band on the other stage begins.
“There’s never any downtime. There’s just constant music from noon to 2 a.m.”
Beautiful Buzzz has already announced a handful of artists performing at TBD Austin, including Sacramento-natives and electro-pop duo Tel Cairo.
Here's a smattering of music being showcased at TBD Austin: