Rabid Austin music fans will get a chance to test their devotion and expand their tastes on Saturday while journeying all over the city’s East Side. That’s part of the mission of the first MapJam concert series, which presents nine different local acts in seven different clubs and venues over nearly 12 hours — and all of it for free.
Presented by KUT and its still-new Austin Music Map interactive media project, along with the city's Music Division, the concerts will give audiences lots of opportunities to share photos, videos, status updates, playlists and more online and have them collected as a way to document the collective experience of Austin’s music scene.
“The goal of Austin Music Map is to document the people and places that make Austin such an exciting music city, and we wanted to bring that to life and have have a sort of Music Map 3D,” said Delaney Hall, lead producer of Austin Music Map.
“There’s incredible diversity in those areas along East Sixth Street, some of them a little further afield, and lots of interesting places to see music, from a craft brewery to a mixed use trailer park to all the newer places on East Sixth.”
Kicking off at noon at the Hops & Grain craft brewery, MapJam will wind throughout East Austin’s pedestrian friendly cluster of clubs and performance spaces before ending at Tillery Park, with rock, roots, Latin, dance and hip hop acts playing for up to an hour each at each stop.
Hall said she and series organizers drew from a wide swath of the Austin music community so audiences can hear new sounds while also discovering different music hot spots and sharing their findings online with other music fans.
“We really want to teach people how to use the Music Map and how it will pull from all different platforms when you use the #austinmusicmap hashtag a photo or a video,” she said. “The great thing is there are new tools available everyday on smartphones to share with other people.”
While Music Map is still in its infancy after a debut in November, musicians participating in Saturday’s concerts are excited the possibilities it creates for making new fans and deepening appreciation for Austin’s many musical offerings.
“I like the diversity of the bands and we’re honored to be a part of something that creates an opportunity to spend a full day checking out music in lots of different places,” said John Mahone, of the rap group Riders Against The Storm, who will perform at 4 p.m. at Hotel Vegas.
“The Music Map is a fresh idea in and of itself because it’s a new way to look at the things that make this city great. And because they’re keeping it so diverse, hopefully we as artists get to introduce ourselves to some new fans. You hope that something like this helps to build that feeling of community.”