SXSW 2017 is just around the corner, and She Shreds will be there with one of our most badass music events yet when we take over Las Cruxes on March 14 for a day-long, all-ages, FREE showcase.

Before we head down to Austin, we asked a number of the artists on the lineup to share their best SXSW tips, insight on festival culture and inclusivity, and of course, gear!

Check it out below, and if you’ll be at SXSW next week, make sure to come out and join us!

IAN SWEET – Jilian Medford

Photo by Eleanor Petry

What the number one tip you would give bands (or fans) heading down to SXSW for the first time?

The number one tip I would give is to drink water and a number two tip would be wear a fanny pack (easy access to all your essential things)!

What is the one road essential (or gear) you/your band needs for a successful festival experience

A road essential for us is pumping up on some Steely Dan tunes before a show! But a more realistic road essential would be making sure you are comfortable whether it be clothes or where you sleep! Make sure you set yourself up comfortably and surround yourself with supportive, helpful and encouraging people while traveling!

What is one thing festival organizers could do to make festivals more inclusive? What are some positive or negative trends you’ve noticed since last year?

There should be no exclusivity, especially in such a heavily populated festival where people come from all ends of the earth to experience and share their art. I think SXSW does not need access to the information they are asking for, it is not essential for sharing or experiencing the festival and it truly upsets me that they are being quite stubborn in changing or completely removing the immigration clause.

This is our first year playing more official showcases so I am noticing the trends more and more of how SX chooses artists and how they are placed with intentionality. I am trying to stay positive about the festival and what IAN SWEET is about to endure but I feel a strong shame for how the festival is handling the very burdening immigration clause.

What do you like most about playing SXSW (or festivals in general)?

The best part of SXSW is that it feels like summer camp! You get to see all your friends in one place and when u leave you want to send them all postcards and become pen pals. My least favorite part is probably the extreme heat, but I’m actually looking forward to getting sweaty after such a shitty winter in New York.

What gear will you be shredding on this year at SXSW?

I shred both a Kay Vanguard guitar and a custom funky/unpredictable(playing wise) Fender Strat. I play out of an Orange Crush amp and the pedals I use are delay, two different chorus pedals, overdrive and, a pedal which sounds like tape warble.

I can’t wait to shred at this show alongside some of the sickest female heroes in my life!


Y La Bamba – Luz Elena Mendoza

Photo by Ingrid Renan

What the number one tip you would give bands (or fans) heading down to SXSW for the first time?

Be prepared mentally, stay grounded and play with your all your heart and create an experience to heal through sound.

What is the one road essential (or gear) you/your band needs for a successful festival experience

A lot of water, healthy food, a janky guitar, your vitamins, and running shoes.

What do you like most about playing SXSW (or festivals in general)?

Different music, so much inspiration, it’s awesome to get to share community with and through sound.

What gear will you be shredding on this year at SXSW?

I’ll be shredding on my Fender Jazzmaster

 

Chastity Belt – Julia Shapiro

Photo by Connor Lyons

What the number one tip you would give bands (or fans) heading down to SXSW for the first time?

Don’t try to plan too much, just play things by ear and see what happens!

What is the one road essential (or gear) you/your band needs for a successful festival experience?

Selfie stick. What’s the point of even being at a festival without one?

What is one thing festival organizers could do to make festivals more inclusive? What are some positive or negative trends you’ve noticed since last year?

Get more bands with POC and women on the lineup.

I’ve noticed more women in lineups recently. For example, Coachella has been pretty male heavy in the past and this year I noticed more women on the lineup. The industry still has a long way to go to make festivals and shows more inclusive though. I’d like to see more women and POC actually running festivals.

What do you like most about playing SXSW (or festivals in general)? Least?

I like being able to see friends in bands that are also playing. It’s like summer camp! It’s also a good way to make new friends and be introduced to new music. The roughest part of SXSW is bouncing around to different shows and using gear you’re not familiar with. Also no sound checks—that really keeps you on your toes!

What gear will you be shredding on this year at SXSW?

I’ll be playing a Fender Jaguar, Lydia has a Fender Strat and Annie has a Fender Mustang bass. Lots of Fender!

 

Lisa Prank (Robin Edwards)Photo by Sarah Cass

What the number one tip you would give bands (or fans) heading down to SXSW for the first time?

Don’t forget your gummy vitamins!

What is the one road essential (or gear) you/your band needs for a successful festival experience?

My iPhone 5s so that I can Facetime my lover.

What is one thing festival organizers could do to make festivals more inclusive?

Provide more gummy vitamins for performers.

What are some positive or negative trends you’ve noticed since last year?

I’m happy to see that cheesecake and cheetah prints are in style this spring.

What do you like most about playing SXSW (or festivals in general)? Least?

I love having heart to hearts with all my friends from far-off places.

What gear will you be shredding on this year at SXSW?

My seafoam Daisy Rock guitar.

 

Diet Cig – Alex Luciano

What the number one tip you would give bands (or fans) heading down to SXSW for the first time?

Drink so much water! Like, more than you think you should! Also airport rules apply—tie a ribbon or something matching on all of your gear. Basically, every Twin Reverb looks the same and you don’t want your amp to accidentally swapped with some wannabe-cowboy named Cody’s.

What is the one road essential (or gear) you/your band needs for a successful festival experience?

A DOLLY!!! OMG, they’re like fifty bucks at Home Depot and they literally saved our lives last year. Especially at SXSW, the roads are all blocked off and it’s such a pain schlepping your gear through the streets. It’s infinitely easier to just roll it. And you can take turns standing on top to smile and wave like parade royalty on a float.

What is one thing festival organizers could do to make festivals more inclusive? What are some positive or negative trends you’ve noticed since last year?

I think more festivals could implement gender-neutral bathrooms. It sucks enough peeing in a weird port-a-potty or trailer thing, the toilet shouldn’t also exclude your identity. I’ve seen a few festivals catching on with this, but mostly not. It would be so easy!!! I think that would be radical as hell.

What do you like most about playing SXSW (or festivals in general)? Least?

The best part of festivals is running into all of your friends who you never get to see! I feel like it’s the only time I get to hang with my music pals and it’s so fun. Even if you’re dying in the street because your dolly wheel is busted and you’re dehydrated af, you’re probably gonna run into a friend in the same situation. it’s kinda nice to share that struggle and maybe reconvene later for sweaty margaritas.

My least favorite part is that it makes my body feel like I got hit by a truck

What gear will you be shredding on this year at SXSW?

This year I’ll be shredding a $120 copy of a Gibson L6-S that I recently found on craigslist and I’m obsessed with it! It’s way lighter than the proper version, and the cheapo humbuckers somehow sound SO COOL. I love it a lot. Gonna be rocking that backline life for amps. Catch me at line check on the search for my perfect tone.

Aye Nako – Mars Ganito

What the number one tip you would give bands (or fans) heading down to SXSW for the first time?

A question I’m interested in asking as well because this is our first time playing SXSW!

What is the one road essential (or gear) you/your band needs for a successful festival experience?

Dank memes.

What is one thing festival organizers could do to make festivals more inclusive?

Have more people of color, especially black people, more queer, transgender, trans femme people in bands. Fewer bands composed of all straight white men.

What are some positive or negative trends you’ve noticed since last year?

This year, people are talking about the threat of deportation of non-US bands written in the artist contract. Highly relevant conversation right now and I’m glad to see people speaking up and pushing back, especially as a second-generation American.

What do you like most about playing SXSW (or festivals in general)? Least?

Most: The possibility to meet and network with new people, make new friends. People watching. Observing and taking note of other bands’ stage presence/persona.

Least: Sometimes overwhelming on the ears (even with earplugs) and feet with hours and hours of loud bands and big crowds. Bathroom lines/using the bathroom while trans.

What gear will you be shredding on this year at SXSW?

Fender Classic 50s Strat in surf green

Fender Tele with swirly purple pickguard and a golden volume knob

Fender DeVille 2×12

Some pedals too


Dude York – Peter Richards, Claire England, and Andrew Hall

Photo by Sam Gehrke

What the number one tip you would give bands (or fans) heading down to SXSW for the first time?

Claire: Be open to whatever! Leave your expectations at the Austin city limits and dive into the experience! Try and get away from the insanity at some point, but don’t forget kimchi fries!

Andrew: See something, say something!

Peter: It’s hard because of social pressure, but try and avoid alcohol and smoking. Your shows will go better without them, maybe!

What is the one road essential (or gear) you/your band needs for a successful festival experience?

Peter: Lots of throat coat tea and Vocalzone lozenges! Primarily, it boils down to bringing your self control!

Andrew: Seltzer

Claire: External phone charger

What is one thing festival organizers could do to make festivals more inclusive? What are some positive or negative trends you’ve noticed since last year?

Peter: Remove the deportation/immigration clause from the contract ASAP. We heard this is happening next year, but xenophobia has no place in this country or world ever.

What do you like most about playing SXSW (or festivals in general)? Least?

Andrew: Seeing all our friends from all over—old friends we never get to see and meeting new friends. Least: drunk weirdos, just getting around.

Claire: I like that you can accept music recommendations in real time. SXSX is cool just because it’s in Austin. Least fun part is trying to love gear.

What gear will you be shredding on this year at SXSW?

Peter: I’ll be shredding on a beautiful guitar mailed to me by an amazing 95-year-old woman from Baltimore, through a Hartke bass head I found in my basement running into a Marshall cab gifted by a friend clearing out their storage unit. All love to Lois Beekman!

Claire: Fender Mustang, Aguilar head and amped cab.

Andrew: drums.