An event fit for early birds — or late night owls, depending on how you look at it — KGSR returns this SXSW with its live broadcast series featuring some pretty darn big names in the music business.
Hosted at the W Austin and open to the public (a mere $5 donation at the door benefits the Make a Wish Foundation), fans line up as early as 3 a.m. for the chance to see acts like the Divine Fits, Emmylou Harris, Iron & Wine and Ozomatli play intimate sets during the station's morning broadcast.
“I’m always surprised when I show up at 5:55 a.m., having slept two or three hours myself, to find all the people lined up to get in," on-air personality Andy Langer tells CultureMap.
"Not surprisingly though, the crowd is always in better shape than the musicians — we’ve had two or three instances over the years where we’ve had buckets and airplane sickness bags side-stage.”
Because of the broadcasts' high profile, it's not uncommon for a surprise guest or two to stop by unannounced.
"Last year, Jack Black and Kenny Rogers stopped by for surprise conversations on our couch," Langer says. "The crowd had no idea either was coming and it’s always fun to surprise the room. SXSW is a time of possibility, so I like the fact the crowd never knows who they might see.”
That crowd is typically stacked 500-deep, and those who muster the early morning strength are treated to a complimentary breakfast prepared by W Austin's executive chef, Nadie Thomas. It doesn't hurt that there's a full bar involved, either. Those who have been out all night and feeling a bit worse for wear will certainly benefit from a few hairs of the dog.
Check out full lineup of live broadcasts March 13 through March 16, and adjust your ambitious nocturnal schedule accordingly.