SXSW 2023 Recap: Rolling Stone’s Future of Music Showcase

March 24, 2023
Emily P.

The annual South by Southwest, abbreviated SXSW, conference and festival took place last week in Austin, Texas, from March 10th through the 19th. The annual gathering features a film conference, a music festival, as well as interactive technology panel discussions. The SXSW music festival is one of the biggest in the world, with thousands of musicians debuting and returning, and hundreds of thousands of attendees, from all over the world. This year, over 300 musicians, both up-and-coming and veteran acts, from across the globe performed at the various showcases presented at SXSW.

One of these, with over 12,000 attendees at the Moody Theater in Austin, was Rolling Stone’s “Future of Music” showcase. This showcase spanned four days last week, from March 14th through the 17th, and featured a diverse lineup with music spanning a variety of genres. Each night, the venue was packed on all three floors while attendees were hyped-up by DJs, including Mediopicky, Rosegold, Hella Yella and The Dare, in between performances. Attendees were also given some opportunities to take photos and get complimentary merch from two of the showcase’s sponsors, DoorDash and Splash.

Opening acts included a wide variety of rising talent, such as Japanese punk band Otoboke Beaver, hyper-pop rapper Midwxst, R&B singer Baby Rose, and even Grulke Prize winner Blondshell! The Grulke Prize is named after the late, longtime Creative Director of the SXSW Music Festival, Brent Grulke. The award is given in three categories: Developing U.S. Act, Developing Non-U.S. Act, and Career Act. According to SXSW, the Developing Act prizes are given to “artists who are breaking new ground with their creativity and show the most promise in achieving their career goals,” and the Career Act prize is given to “an established artist who appeared at SXSW to reinvent themselves or launch an important new project.” Blondshell was the honored recipient of the Developing U.S. Act prize at the end of the festival, and she opened for Remi Wolf and Mariah the Scientist at Rolling Stone’s “Future of Music” showcase on the third day of the showcase, March 16th.

Headlining acts included a wide variety of fan-favorites, such as previously mentioned Remi Wolf and Mariah the Scientist, JID, Coco Jones, Chloe Bailey, and SABA. Quite a few of the acts that performed were new to the SXSW scene, while others were veterans. Remi Wolf was amongst those making their SXSW debut, as she excitedly announced in the midst of her energized performance. The four-day showcase closed out on St. Patrick’s Day with a surprise performance by none other than SXSW veteran, Macklemore. During his set, Macklemore passed around a giant Irish flag through the crowd while playing his 2009 hit, “Irish Celebration,” in honor of the holiday. Throughout his performance, Macklemore made various efforts to interact with the audience, whether that be by taking selfies on fans’ phones, or even stage diving.

See the full list of performers from the showcase below, and read more about the showcase here!