The SXSW 2015 music festival once again exceeded everyone's expectations and even longtime jaded music industry insiders couldn't help but enjoy a week of wall-to-wall rock and roll and good food.
The longstanding friendship between Epiphone and Gibson Brands and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences was in full swing during SXSW '15. The GRAMMY Backyard Sessions had Epiphone guitars and basses on-hand both and backstage artists like New Beat Fund and Catfish & The Bottlemen testing out the goods.
There were also panel discussions with accomplished representatives from the entertainment business including actor/filmmaker Colin Hanks, film producer Sean Stuart, Village Studios CEO Jeff Greenberg, American Association of Independent Music president Rich Bengloff, Red Bull Records head Greg Hammer, and the Executive Director of Rethink Music for Berklee College of Music, Allen Bargfrede. The Epiphone office in Austin also helped organize one of SXSW's longest-running and best-loved events, the Roky Erickson Ice Cream Social honoring Austin's godfather of psychedelic rock, the founder and lead vocalist of the legendary 13th Floor Elevators.
Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top gave a video introduction to Roky and Austin music legend Charlie Sexton presented Rory with a Gibbons-signed 335. Wes Tone, seen here holding down the rhythm on a Masterbilt while performing on the Rolling Stone Stage at Mellow Johnny's, was the winner of the GRAMMY Amplifier Showcase contest. The Bleachers, Gary Clark Jr., and Interpol were just a few of the highlights along with new acts like Ultimate Painting and Natalie Prass. Every year we say "that's enough" but it won't be long before we start planning for Austin, 2016.