SXSW 2016: 10 showcases everyone will be talking about

SXSW 2016 is almost upon us.

Next week, the city of Austin, Texas will be occupied by bands, artists, PRs, journalists, labels, A&Rs and pretty much anyone else involved in music, film and technology.

But even if you’re not in the industry, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into – few other festivals capture the excitement of discovering new artists, and even fewer provide the opportunity to see so many in one place at one time. And you don’t even have to sleep in a tent.

We’ve come up with a guide to the most exciting showcases this year, and while it’s unlikely anyone will be able to check out all of them (we’re investing in prototype cloning technology for Thursday night, that’s for sure), it should be enough to whet your appetite for the week’s revels.

Don’t forget, FACT’s debut official SXSW 2016 showcase is at the Empire Control Room on Thursday March 17, and features D∆WN, Beat King, Mumdance, UNiiQU3, Rabit, DJ Spinn & DJ Taso with The Era and NAKED.

SXSW 2016 - Spotify

Tuesday, March 15
Spotify House

The streaming platform’s residency at this year’s festival is robust — they’ll have performances from Miguel, Tory Lanez, BJ the Chicago Kid and more throughout the week — but their Tuesday afternoon showcase is especially appealing, headlined by Vince Staples and featuring performances from ‘Cha Cha’ star D.R.A.M. and up-and-comer Tate Kobang, and hosted by comedian Hannibal Buress. Spotify is also featuring free, early morning SoulCycle classes DJed by different artists throughout the week. While the idea of riding a bike to nowhere to the sound of EDM may not sound amazing, Tuesday’s class will be soundtracked by iLoveMakonnen. *Insert “heart rate going on up on a Tuesday” joke here*


Tuesday, March 15
800 Congress

Glasgow powerhouse LuckyMe are using this year’s SXSW showcase to launch Baauer’s new full-length, Aa. Not only will be we treated to a performance from the man himself (no prizes for guessing what the encore will be), but Software’s Suicideyear, Jersey club goddess UNiiQU3, LuckyMe’s very own Eclair Fifi and more will appear. Who’s bringing the Bucky?

SXSW 2016 - Cliche

Cliché presents Woman Crush Wednesday
Wednesday, March 16
The Mohawk

Chicago all-women collective Cliché are taking their Pu$$y Control monthly to the House of Vans for a day party featuring SXSW’s first official all-female lineup. The day is rooted in rap and R&B but the range is vast, including performances by alt-soul singer-songwriter drea smith.vibe dealer, Kylie Jenner bestie Jordyn Woods, the Bay’s Lil’ Debbie and FACT favorite Junglepussy, plus many more.

SXSW 2016 - Stormzy

SBTV presents Strictly British
Wednesday, March 16
The Main II

Union Jacks and cups of tea at the ready, Britishers – here’s something blissfully Hameron-free we can actually be patriotic about. SBTV are trucking a handful of the country’s brightest stars over to Austin for their Strictly British event, and while it might sound like Bruce Forsyth is involved, you only have to glance at the lineup to know how essential it’s going to be. Stormzy, Section Boyz, Mumdance, Ghetts, Elf Kid, Shakka and more – leave yer “keep calm” merch at home.

SXSW 2016 - FACT

Thursday, March 17
Empire Control Room

FACT’s debut official SXSW showcase is going to be huge – not only do we have a headline set from D∆WN, the artist responsible for our favorite record of 2015, we’ve also managed to snag Houston’s Beat King, Jersey club queen UNiiQU3, Teklife’s DJ Spinn and DJ Taso with dance crew The Era, Mumdance, Rabit, and LuckyMe’s NAKED. Phew. FACT’s own John Twells and Tom Lea will be dropping a few tunes between sets, so don’t forget to say hello.

SXSW 2016 - Steady Leanin'

Steady Leanin’
Thursday, March 17
Swan Dive

With their roots firmly in Boston, it’s no surprise to see Steady Leanin’ showing love to their city and throwing the spotlight on Cousin Stizz and Michael Christmas, but there’s far more to Steady Leanin’s showcase than some hometown loyalty. They’ve snagged ATL’s 21 Savage, Chicago bop duo Sicko Mobb, Philly up-and-comer PNB Rock, and Little Rock rapper/producer Kari Faux, and that’s just for starters. Basically, if you wanna see breaking rap, this is the showcase you can’t miss.

SXSW 2016 - Iamsu!

Southern Hospitality
Thursday, March 17
Scratch House

FACT friends Rob Pursey and Davey Boy Smith’s Southern Hospitality will highlight some of the best young rappers in the game at their showcase. Nef the Pharaoh, Boogie, TK n Cash, IAMSU!, Sauce Twinz, Awful’s Tommy Genesis and more will take the stage for a packed night. And if you love their monthly rap and R&B roundup, be sure to check out their DJ spots in between sets.

SXSW 2016 - Mass Appeal

Mass Appeal
Thursday, March 17
Austin Music Hall

For the second year, magazine and label Mass Appeal is highlighting some of rap’s all-time greats and most impressive newcomers at SXSW. This year’s showcase is headlined by their partner and New York rap icon Nas with performances by Yo Gotti, A$AP Nast, DJ Khaled, Bas, Bia and many more. Mannie Fresh, Just Blaze, Green Lantern and Large Professor will also soundtrack the evening. And if that isn’t enough, Duck Down will pay tribute to the late Sean Price with appearances by Smif-n-Wessun, Buckshot and surprise guests.


Ninja Tune
Friday, March 18
800 Congress

Ninja Tune have really pulled it out of the bag this year. Not only do they have the Wu-Tang Clan’s mighty Ghostface headlining, they’ve managed to snag Detroit house legend Moodymann too. DJ Paypal, Machinedrum, Leon Vynehall and more are also going to be throwing down – you know what you have to do.

SXSW 2016 - NxWorries

Stones Throw & Leaving Records
Saturday, March 19
Empire Control Room & Garage

Label boss Peanut Butter Wolf is leading Stones Throw’s epic lineup on Saturday, and it looks as if they’ve pulled out all the stops. Man of the moment Anderson .Paak will be appearing with Knxwledge under their NxWorries guise, with Samiyam, Karriem Riggins, J Rocc and more. Additionally, their friends at Leaving Records will be in charge of Empire Control Room to explore the outer limits with Matthewdavid, Deantoni Parks, Ras G and beat scene vanguard Daedelus.



Share Tweet