Pandora at SXSW

Screen shot 2012-03-22 at 10.19.26 AM[1].pngWe did it! Weeks of late nights and early mornings, hundreds of tacos and thousands of music fans and now we are home from hosting our first official showcase at the South by Southwest festival in Austin TX: Pandora’s very own Discovery Den.

This year the music portion of SXSW saw at least 25,000 attendees, hundreds of venues and more than 2,000 bands of every genre possible. The festival is a place where lesser known artists become discovered as well as where popular artists often show up as special guests. Some of the festival’s top names this year included Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Jack White and Kanye West. At the Pandora Discovery Den, we featured four days and nights of amazing music including acts like Band of Skulls, Big K.R.I.T., Glen Hansard and Gary Clark Jr. The place was packed and people seemed to be having a good time, which we love!

Screen shot 2012-03-22 at 10.19.06 AM[1].png

Bruce Springsteen reflected on the festival in his keynote address:

“The word ‘keynote’ made me uncomfortable. It seemed to suggest that there was a key note to be struck that sums up whatever is going on out there in the streets: five days of bands, hundreds of venues, morning to night. And no one hardly agrees on anything in pop anymore. There is no key note. I don’t think. There’s no unified theory of everything. You can ask Einstein.”

We hosted the Pandora Discovery Den at Antone’s, a historical Austin night club that helped launch the career of Stevie Ray Vaughan and many others. Keynote or not, it was invigorating to see so many hard working artists bringing their best to the stage night after night. Dedication, creativity and well executed performances did not go unnoticed. We heard people talking about starting new Pandora stations based on the artists they were hearing.

Later in Springsteen’s talk, he identified the power and purpose of music as a unifying characteristic:

“Purity of human expression is not confined to guitars… There’s no right way of doing it, there’s just doing it. We live in a post authentic world… It’s the power and purpose of your music that still matters.”

Four days and nights of music at the Pandora Discovery Den, inspired by The Boss’ thoughtful words, running on very little sleep, powered by Texas BBQ and burritos, we were also reminded of the overwhelming power of music. Thank you SXSW and thank you to all of the musicians!

- Aaron (Community Manager)

(Lower Photo: Gary Clark Jr. performing at the Pandora Discovery Den at SXSW 2012)

Aaron Morgan

Sr. Social Media Manager http://www.pandora.com/profile/pandora.aaron

11 thoughts on “Pandora at SXSW

  1. This is off-topic but I couldn’t find anywhere else to tell you that the bio of Miles Davis you are currently using on your site is actually a bio of Red Garland with Miles’ name in it.
    You might want to fix that.

  2. I don’t think SXSW represents what’s really happening with music lovers. The best music was always made by artists who had a passion for what they do and the motivation for making music has shifted in recent years resulting in music that no longer inspires listeners.

  3. Would Pandora consider sending out messages regarding the following:
    ***Whenever some kind of maintenance is going on with the system. Just as one example, I understand the function allowing you to move a song from one station to another has been broken for awhile and is being worked on. Instead of keeping us in the dark, just let us know when something like this happens.
    ***Whenever new albums are added. That way we don’t have to check an artist’s discography every week or two to find out.
    ***If a listener has exhausted its quota of music requests. I used to have luck getting some approved. But now it has been about two years since I had a request approved. (You can check your records.)
    I love Pandora. Just trying to make it better for listeners.

  4. you guys seriously need to fix the advertisement problem, it blew my speakers.. and Its so ontinuous.. You should put the ads only on thhe pandora that cost money.. its super annoying.