Sandra and I booked ourselves into a Monday departure from Austin which allowed us to enjoy the city and some favourite spots on Sunday. After a lunch at Craft Pride (which featured some fantastic beer and local jazz bands) we set off to roam a quieter downtown area We happened upon yet another Craft Beer bar and couldn't help but drop by to check it out and have a rather great conversation with the young guys that ran the bar.

It's the end of the official festival, it's a glorious day, and our plan is to combine 2 of our favourite things...craft beer bars and lovely bands 'Music For Listeners' (a radio program based in San Antonio, Texas) is putting on an afternoon of music at Lazarus Brewing Co..and we wander over to catch a couple of bands...and drink some fine craft ale. Lovely venue for bands, a large outside stage, plenty of room..easily a new favourite in Austin.

After another good rest and a full buffet breakfast (essential for a successful day!) Sandra and I are off for what annually turns out to be our favourite day party. Current.org is a public community radio station based in Minnesota and never fails to attract a wide assortment of talented performers to their showcase and this year, we tick off a lot of boxes by joining them at the Barracuda

After a good sleep and a big buffet breakfast we are ready to take on a full Thursday schedule. Today is one of those get settled and enjoy the sun and kick back and enjoy days.  The Aussie BBQ features a lot of Aussie bands today, 2 stages, free food and some free drinks.

It's Wednesday and we are feeling good. It's sunny and warm and it's time to check out some bands on a patio We are off to Cheer up Charlie's It's another 2 stage Venue. First up is Control Top on the inside stage. They are an intense 3 piece ..polished and loud led by yet another dynamic young woman. She screams as much as sings but it's rather tasty. Frenetic guitar work and feedback make sure you pay attention but it's a lot this early.

Today we venture east to a venue we have never checked out before, the new renovated Scoot Inn. a large outdoor stage area, a comfortable inside stage, it is well suited to a day of rock n roll. There are a few showcases today but this one featured one band I was particularly interested in so we commit to this spot

Another year, another SXSW completed. It doesn't get any easier, but with age comes wisdom, and after over 15 years of attending, we are starting to figure it out. How many more years we will be attending has yet to be determined but for now, here is our SXSW 2019 .......

The annual Tradfest took place in Dublin last month. Always a treat to have some great concerts at the bleakest time of year and this year's edition was better than ever. The event that started as the Temple Bar Tradfest in 2005 has moved more and more out of Temple Bar and has expanded to include all kinds of roots music.

An inexpensive festival across just five venues along Albert Street, Southsea featuring under-the-radar bands, many from the locality with a small number from further afield. This year’s event had a charitable heart, all proceeds going to Mental Health causes.

A 2-day festival conceived and curated by The Decemberists and held in their home back-yard in Missoula, Montana. This is the second time the band have organised such an event and this time round they headlined both nights with the promise of playing their ‘Crane Wife’ album in full. As one of our favourite bands this gave us a good reason to organise a holiday in the North West corner of USA, taking in other music hotbeds Portland and Seattle as well. Accommodation for the festival weekend was a motel in Missoula – the handy courtesy festival shuttle was an iconic yellow American School Bus.

After listening to the entire 1,900 song Spotify SXSW playlist, having scoured social media pages to find band suggestions, looked though pages of party listings and showcase announcements, a plan was in place as well as, a couple of back up ideas as per usual. We fly to Austin really early with very little sleep.  Our intention was to just lounge the first afternoon then start the festival on Monday night but after the early flight and a few pints, we decided to keep awake by going for a bit of a hike to Hotel Vegas and jump into a showcase.

Another wonderful weekend at this superb festival. Enough has been said about the wonders of this event in other reviews - in short it is a staple in the summer calendar for us. The selection of music on offer make for endless difficult choices aside from the plentiful poetry, comedy, literature, film and pop-up activities going on. Our focus is on the bands - these are the ones we enjoyed this weekend.

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