When news broke on October 6 that the sophomore year of Sound on Sound Festival was canceled, many local music loyalists felt as if they’d been punched in the gut. Initially the explanation was vague, citing roadblocks “outside of [their] control” but it would soon come to be known that a major investor had pulled out with a little over a month before the festival was set to commence.
The folks at Margin Walker, the company behind SOS Fest, went into crisis mode. As a way to soften to the blow, organizers tried to reschedule as many artists as possible over the festival's original November 10-12 dates by placing them at venues throughout downtown Austin. Original SOS Fest ticket-holders were given first dibs as the new shows were announced, and when it was all said and done, 51 bands performed over the three-day period (Iggy Pop and Yeah Yeah Yeahs being the most notable absences) at venues like the Mohawk, Emo’s and Empire Control Room.
Several concert-goers noted that they were relieved to be able to see their favorite acts without having to drive to the festival grounds. Sound on Sound even made it possible to see several bands in the same evening by staggering the set times as one would expect at a festival. With most venues within walking distance or a quick Lyft away, it wasn’t unthinkable for some folks to catch sets across multiple venues in one night.
Despite the obstacles, Margin Walker brought loads of music to Austin this past weekend — and the vibe was electric. Sound on Sound may have been put out to pasture, but don’t expect its founders to stay dormant for long.
Washed Out at Emo’s, Friday November 10
Yelle at the Mohawk on Saturday November 11.
Japandroids at Emo’s on Saturday November 11.
Crowds flocked to see more than 50 bands play across town over the course of the weekend.
Cannibal Corpse at the Mohawk, Friday November 10.
A stage diver at Cannibal Corpse.
Homegrown heroes the Octopus Project at the Mohawk, Saturday November 11.
Washed Out at Emo’s on Friday November 10.
Capyac at Emo’s on Friday, November 10.
The Shins at Emo’s, Sunday November 12
Yelle on the Mohawk mainstage.