Traditionally it's been a Wednesday to Saturday affair.
There are still a lot less showcases on Tuesday than the other nights, but this year the likes of Spoon, Twin Peaks, East India Youth, TORRES, Speedy Ortiz, and others would play the opening night.
I caught some of those artists later in the week, but eased into SXSW by mainly sticking to Cheer Up Charlie's, a venue I'd revisit several times in the week, for a showcase hosted by the indie PR firm Riot Act Media.
After SXSW 2014's tragic deaths due to a car slamming into a crowd of attendees and last year's over-capacity issues, as well as charges in recent years that the conference was becoming too commercialized and overtaken by huge artists, 2015 seemed like a breath-catching year.
Kanye West wasn't the big surprise guest at the FADER Fort and there was no artist the size of Lady Gaga hogging a bunch of press coverage from smaller buzz acts this year.
There were still plenty of events sponsored by corporations, but nothing as garish as the Doritos Stage of the last few years (a giant Doritos vending machine towering over Sixth Street).
Ex Cops even declined to play the Mc Donalds stage because they didn't want to be associated with the brand, and also because the hamburger chain weren't paying any of the artists (a common thing with SXSW events, but not so forgivable with such a huge corporation); thus drumming more press than they likely did for last fall's sophomore album, .
Austin cut back on the number of permits that were given for SXSW outdoor events this year and the fire marshals seemed even more vigilant in enforcing venue capacities.
And I personally knew a lot of SXSW veterans who gave this year a miss.That doesn't mean that there wasn't still a plethora of fantastic performances and social media worthy moments at SXSW 2015.Unlike big music festivals in a field somewhere (such as Coachella or Bonnaroo), which are more of a collective experience with only a handful of stages to choose from and many people focusing on the main stage performances, SXSW is a very individual experience, with hundreds of bands playing every day and night in venues scattered all around downtown Austin and beyond.There's something for everyone and each attendee has their own personal SXSW experience based on what they decide to see out of the multitude of options.Here is a diary of what I personally saw at SXSW 2015 on the Tuesday and Wednesday of the music portion.Tuesday, March 17, 2015 It's only in recent years that SXSW has started doing full on music showcases Tuesday.