Day 1 of Mike Ziemer's Third String Production's, South by So What Music Festival took throngs of young hard rock and metal fans to Grand Prairie for a stunning and vibrant show. You can't get the venue wrong. QuikTrip Park is a great location for this kind of festival. With three stages centered in the middle of the baseball field, it was easy for fans to meander through each stage and listen to fan favorites or sample some up and comers.
The first day of South by So What, included a sunny day with some afternoon winds. That didn't seem to disturb the thousands of concert goers that were there by the time 5pm rolled around as they were coming in around noon. Quiktrip Park makes the music and the merchandise readily available to attendees. Surrounding the upper deck main walkway are where the vendors and band merchandise were strewn in a semi-circle around the park. Fans could get autographs and buy band merchandise throughout. Day 2 was a different story, due to the bad weather and lightning the event was cancelled. This is TX so you never know what the weather will be like and more than likely a lot went into the decision to cancel. Fans were not excited about that, as is evidenced on the South by So What Facebook Page. By Day 3, however, it might have been cold but it was on with the show to end the entire festival on a high note.
For the complete festival lineup, please see South By So What's lineup page.
The Plight of Independent Music Festivals
Independent promoter and music festivals such as South by So What are the types of events that help get music out to people. It is pretty ambitious to hold a music festival while SXSW is also going on in Austin, however, the climate in Dallas for independent music and artists is changing. Dallas while definitely not like Austin, is becoming a "more obvious choice" with "better chances" for artists to get their music known. Dallas has the population base and the eagerness in their fans. In a recent interview with Culture Map Dallas, Ziemer discussed the tour in more detail as a way for acts heading to Austin to to get paid. Austin's South by Southwest is starting to see big time music makers who don't even NEED the extra publicity, swallow up smaller acts. I couldn't agree more with Jon Pareles of the New York Times who says about SXSW, "The tiny fraction of a percentage of performers who have made it big were grabbing even more exposure away from the struggling majority."
That is what makes South By So What such a great event. You don't see The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Asking Alexandria, The Devil Wears Prada or even Of Mice and Men trying to take fans away from the likes of other bands in the line up. They all have their own sounds but definitely a unique take on music and the way this festival was set up, it generates more fans for each band and artist. That' what made this show special with making it three days. Had the weather been great, I think this show would have been a great buy for the three day pass holder.
This is sure to be THE must see annual music event in Dallas for years to come.
Take a look at the slide show for event highlights and more.