A couple weeks back, a group from of TuneCore staff members trekked down to Austin for SXSW 2017. We had a great set-up in the SXSW Artist Gifting Lounge, where we were able to connect directly with artists – getting feedback, answering questions, providing promotional/social media consultations, and in some cases, just explaining what we’re all about.

By night, we hit the town – checking out TuneCore Artist’s sets all over the downtown area, from small divey punk bars to brilliant outdoor spaces (and at one point, a BBQ restaurant!). It’s always great to get out and see artists do their thing on stage, but it’s hard to beat four nights in a row of it.

With everything wrapped up and everyone fully out of their queso-comas, we thought it’d be cool to get some feedback from some TuneCore folks who made their way south – what they saw, heard and learned during SXSW.


On exciting opportunities being made available to artists at SXSW:

“Independent artist being able to discuss changes and opportunities with leaders in the music industry.”
Chris Mooney, Senior Director, Artist Relations

“Overall the artists I spoke to were looking to meet industry professionals and wind up on a stage. There were a lot more indie promoters working with SXSW this year then I remember from past years, which gave artists more of a platform and more networking opportunities up and down 6th Street.”
Kedar Frederic, VP, Business Development

“I may be old-fashioned, but I really love all the media opportunities available to artists at SXSW. Whether an interview is booked in advance of the festival, or a journo grabs an artist for a quick Q&A after a particularly great set, media attention helps bands build their profiles.”
Amy Lombardi, Director, Entertainment Relations

On struggles that independent artists are facing in 2017:

“I’d say just getting streamed and landing on popular playlists.”
Marie-Anne Robert, VP, International

“Social media marketing – everything from where to start, what to do, and how to grow audience.”
Justin Golshir, TuneCore Social Project Director

“The number one struggle was accessing quality promotion. Discovery is so saturated and almost every artist I spoke to were looking for authentic ways to getting on playlists or channels that had more visibility.”
Chris Mooney, Senior Director, Artist Relations

“There is a LOT of music out there and a lot of talent at the festival. You gotta hustle and be organized to make the most of your time.”
Kedar Frederic, VP, Business Development

On educational panels being offered:

“The panel I attended about “Demystifying Asia’s Music Industry” included some very interesting information about Chinese and Korean markets. For instance, China is going through their ‘baby boom age’ for music festivals at the moment, jumping from just three festivals to 100 in the past two years!”
Marie-Anne Robert, VP, International

“I picked up some really interesting details on artists as their own brand and the importance of authenticity in the “Creating for a Cause” panel [featuring TuneCore’s Amy Lombardi].”
Chris Mooney, Senior Director, Artist Relations

“I think overall the tone of events and panels I attended that mattered was focused around finding ways to make your artistry and brand more professional and polished.”
Kedar Frederic, VP, Business Development

On favorite conversations, interactions and moments with TuneCore Artists during SXSW:

“I met a US rapper, Steelyone, who told us, ‘I love your asian store KKBOX as it brings me so many royalties – even though I’ve never been to Asia!'”
Marie-Anne Robert, VP, International

“I really loved talking about artists’ Spotify strategies. In multiple discussions, there was a focus on increasing followers, more so than just stream-count, (including the artist Saro and the folks from the label New Illuminati Entertainment).”
Chris Mooney, Senior Director, Artist Relations

“Way too many quality interactions that were equally great. I specifically like meeting urban artists who are still in the mindset that they need a deal or manager for distribution. Once I explain TuneCore their minds are blown.”
Kedar Frederic, VP, Business Development

“I met manager Sage Smith and was excited to listen to the passion she had for her artists and see the drive she had for their success.”
Amy Lombardi, Director, Entertainment Relations

On advice you’d offer to folks traveling to SXSW next year:

“Don’t plan early meetings in the morning!”
Marie-Anne Robert, VP, International

“Plan a schedule in advance to be sure to take full advantage of everything that’s going on during the week.”
Justin Golshir, TuneCore Social Project Director

“Try to have a new release out around SXSW to excite fans and provide more opportunity for coverage.”
Chris Mooney, Senior Director, Artist Relations

“SXSW is a very different kind of beast. Relationships get built at events and shows and you need a lot of room in your schedule to stay agile and move around. Keep your ears and eyes open, and introduce yourself professionally whenever you can, you never know who’s watching. Also, if you’re going to try and hand out CD’s (which I suggest you don’t) make sure you can also be found on at least one of the major platforms.”
Kedar Frederic, VP, Business Development

“Anyone attending SXSW 2018 should arrive in Ausin well-rested wearing comfortable, water-proof shoes. If you’re an artist, go the extra mile and take all your gear into wherever you’re staying at night. It exhausting after a long day, but you’ll be happy it’s there in the morning!”
Amy Lombardi, Director, Entertainment Relations

On what TuneCore Artists blew you away with their live performance:

“Caravanchela (from Colombia).”
Marie-Anne Robert, VP, International

“Plastic Daggers.”
Justin Golshir, TuneCore Social Project Director

“Deep Sea Diver.”
Chris Mooney, Senior Director, Artist Relations

“I watched TuneCore artist Kado Barlatier alongside the team from Steve Madden and he was infectious.”
Kedar Frederic, VP, Business Development

“I really enjoyed sets Deep Sea Diver and Quin Galvis!”
Amy Lombardi, Director, Entertainment Relations

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