For five years She Shreds has thrown totally unofficial, completely legit shows during Austin’s SXSW festival. Why do we do it? Well, let’s start with a bit of historical context.
Many of you know me as She Shreds’ founder and editor in chief, which I most certainly am. What I also pride myself for is my insatiable love for bringing together community through events, which you’ll learn is how this whole She Shreds lifestyle got started. Growing up in Austin, at age 16 I threw what I considered to be my first “official” show. It was during SXSW in 2009, hosted at what is now Figure 8 coffee. The lineup involved Des Ark, Explode Into Colors STRFKR, and myself (I know, classic move) performing in a tiny room surrounded by 200 sweaty, raging bodies. It was amazing and punk, and I loved every bead of sweat that came from it.
At the time I was inspired by the DIY subculture of SXSW, whether that meant late night shows at the pedestrian bridge or at Mrs. Bea’s (what was Cheer Up Charlies and what is now Wonderland), or basically just wherever Finally Punk, Vivian Girls or Mika Miko were playing. These shows brought me closer to my heroes, and without a doubt, helped shape who I am today.
Since that first show, I’ve had the opportunity to create similar spaces— always, free of charge and always independent. Those who have ever been to a She Shreds show before know the drill: community first, everyone is welcome, and no one is “good for a girl”, they’re just good. Fans and musicians come to our shows to be surrounded by people they love and look up to in an environment that in other contexts might be controlled by corporations. This necessity to be surrounded by an alternative yet necessary perspective on the music industry, one that celebrates diversity and identity is what fosters the spaces that She Shreds creates—no one can stop us from honoring that.
When our initial location at Kinda Tropical was shut down during Shamir’s set—due to an overcapacity issue and an unknown lack of permit by the venue—our community came together, strangers packed as much as they could in their cars, people who didn’t know each other caravanned, and we immediately relocated thanks to the incredibly generous humans at Sahara Lounge. Relocating 10 bands, all of our equipment, and 500+ people successfully in 40 minutes, for the love of community and music was by far the most punk thing I’ve ever done. A true testament to how strong this community really is.
Shortly thereafter, Hinds got on the stage and the show continued as if nothing had ever happened: hundreds of people surrounded the tiny stage inside waiting for their favorite bands to play, families, musicians, and fans lounged outside soaking up the sun and our amazing sound team Tzu-Wei and Bonnie Knight hustled to dial in as many bands we could. For me, personally, I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.
Lastly, I want to thank all 13 of the bands involved for being a part of our family, supporting us and always having our back! On top of that She Shreds was proud to be able to pay our artists while providing a free of charge event thanks to our amazing partners—D’Addario Strings, Guild Guitars, Martin Guitars, Fender, Guitar Center, and Do512—who believe in our mission and are actively seeking progress in the guitar industry. In the weeks to come She Shreds will be publishing footage from the show and interviews with bands to answer the questions, “Who Is The Modern Guitarist,” documented at this year’s SX She Shreds event. Follow the conversation below on Instagram and add to it by tagging us on #IMAGUITARIST.
For decades, considering yourself a guitarist meant subscribing to a certain culture—one that for many was un-relatable and exclusive. Today, we expand on a conversation that is constantly discussed but seldom showcased: Who is the modern guitarist? What does being a guitarist mean to you? What gear do you play? How do you choose to learn? What are your obstacles and how do you overcome them? In this series started at last weeks #SXsheshreds event, we ask artists about being guitarists and document the incredibly wide spectrum of what that looks and sounds like. . Do you consider yourself a guitarist? Post a pic of yourself playing, tell us why in the caption and tag us to be included in the on-going conversation! . #IMAGUITARIST #SHESHREDS #SHESHREDSMAG 🎶 by @we_are_shopping (beginning) and @hindsband (end) 🎥 @cemeza
So, will we be back? As long as you want us, we’ll be there without a doubt.