SXSW goes virtual this year. What that means for a musician and a caterer

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South by Southwest (SXSW) — the film, music and comedy festival in Austin, Texas — spans March 16-20 this year. It’s long been hailed as a showcase and launchpad for rising independent artists, particularly musicians. But a year into the pandemic, the music industry and all its players are still struggling to find their footing, some with more success than others. 

All three portions of the festival will be virtual this year, including the music portion that kicked off on Tuesday. One of the musicians included is Randy Randall, from the band No Age. After enduring a full year with no live events, he will be performing a virtual set of his solo music. 

And while the virtual concerts may help struggling artists, they won’t help behind-the-scenes people like ShelleyLyn Brandler who had a thriving business catering big music events such as Coachella and the Hollywood Bowl prior to the pandemic. 

KCRW: SXSWhen?: No Age’s Randy Randall reflects on a year without shows and live music’s uncertain future