Friday, February 02, 2007

SXSW: We're not for fans, and we won't tell you who's playing

Brent Grulke from SXSW has upset half of the population of Texas and much of the music world with an interview in the Austin Chronicle. He was challenged on why the usual longlist of performers at the festival has yet to appear:

BG: The largest thing is we're not trying to promote to consumers at all, and we want to be able to put out an accurate list. Once we put any kind of list out, we get all kinds of demand for it, people trying to figure out, "Oh, I need to get there; I need to get to this venue." We also get artists saying, "Oh my God, how can you have us competing with this, competing with that?"

Instead of releasing acts piecemeal, it makes more sense to get as good a sense as we can of all the acts we want to invite and put together a schedule that makes the most sense, we believe, for the largest number of people attending. The thinking was that it didn't do us any great favors having this information available earlier, because it creates this huge, huge, huge consumer buzz, and then we'll get so many phone calls of people saying, "Can I get tickets to the Stooges?" These things take up a tremendous amount of our energy and resources.

DoneWaiting's SXSW blog explains why Grukle's plans to withhold band details until the last minute is a bad move; further commentary is offered by, erm, commenters.