Willie Nelson to headline 2015 SXSW Heartbreaker Banquet

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson will again headline the Heartbreaker Banquet at this year’s South By South West music conference.

The event will take place on the 19th of March at Nelson’s own ranch in Luck, Texas with a diverse range of artists playing across two different stages.

Nelson and his Family Band will headline the main Medicine Show Stage, while a host of other musicians will play sets there and in the more intimate confines of the Revival Tent.

Numerous favourites of Skin Back Alley have been announced for the banquet, including Lindi Ortega, Nikki Lane and Heartless Bastards. Also making appearances will be the likes of Hurray for the Riff Raff, Leon Bridges, Delta Spirit and Nelson protégée Lily Meola.

Electric Lady Studios and Robot Fondue will host this year’s event at Nelson’s town of Luck, essentially a series of buildings and facades originally constructed for use during the filming of the outlaw country star’s 1986 film Red Headed Stranger. Many of the buildings were damaged in storms following the 2014 banquet, but have since been restored for this year’s show.

Tickets for the 2015 Heartbreaker Banquet are on sale now.

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Coldplay to release new album in May

MilaBlueWingF 2Love them or loathe them, globe-conquerers Coldplay have announced that they are to release a new album.

Titled Ghost Stories, their sixth studio LP will be released on 19th May. A new single, ‘Magic’, is available for those who pre-order the album via iTunes.

Last week, Coldplay revealed another brand new track, ‘Midnight’, and a video directed by Mary Wigmore. The band are set to appear at this year’s South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, performing on the first night of the inaugural iTunes Festival At SXSW.

The full tracklisting for Ghost Stories is:

‘Always In My Head’
‘Magic’
‘Ink’
‘True Love’
‘Midnight’
‘Another’s Arms’
‘Oceans’
‘A Sky Full Of Stars’
‘O’

The artwork for the release, depicting a pair of wings in the shape of a broken heart, can be seen above.

Willie Nelson to host day long festival during SXSW

Heartbreaker Banquet 2014Country music legend Willie Nelson is to host a day long festival during the SXSW music conference.

Nelson’s private ‘Luck, Texas’ ranch will play host to the third annual Heartbreaker Banquet, a day long concert taking place on Thursday 13th March. The festival is set to feature pop-up shops, locally sourced food and music from 18 different performers.

The music will be split over two stages, and will feature sets from the likes of Shovels and Rope, J. Roddy Walston and The Business, Lucius, the Felice Brothers and the Wild Feathers. Event organisers have also promised that there will be “surprises in store.”

Proceeds from this year’s Banquet are set to benefit the SIMS Foundation, offering mental health services to Austin based musicians.

The full lineup for the Heartbreaker Banquet is as follows:

Medicine Show Stage:
Shovels and Rope, J. Roddy Walston and the Business, Lucius, the Felice Brothers, Clear Plastic Masks, Nikki Lane, the Wild Feathers, Elle King and a surprise headliner.

Chapel Stage:
Willie Watson, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Shakey Graves, John Fullbright, Noah Gundersen, Mechanical River, Jonny Burke, Sons of Fathers and Insects Vs. Robots.

Slash announces launch of SXSW “hackathon”

Slash

Legendary rock guitarist Slash has announced the launch of a music ‘hack-a-thon.’

The event, which is scheduled to take place on 12th March at the SXSW music conference, challenges developers to “create solutions for artists to engage with their communities” using APIs from businesses such as Spotify, Bandsintown and Leap Motion.

The event is structured as a contest, with the winner receiving $1,000 cash, a guitar signed by Slash, and the possibility of having their idea used to promote the musician’s forthcoming solo album. The contest will be judged by Slash himself, BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen and investor Ben Parr.

The “Slashathon,” as it is dubbed, will be run by Geeklist, a social networking site for developers. It has run similar events in the past, as well as the #Hack4Good initiative that encourages hacks around work for charities including Amnesty International and Oxfam.

But the proliferation of hack days and hack-a-thon events such as this has sparked backlash in some quarters of the developer community. Many are asking, if a developer creates something that is genuinely innovative and helps musicians such as Slash better promote their work and make more money, shouldn’t their prize be more than $1000 and a signed guitar?

But perhaps in the eyes of willing participants, the opportunity to work with high profile musicians far outweighs any worries that they have about providing their services for free.

Either way, it’s a fairly safe bet that “Slashathon” will be highly popular when SXSW 2014 finally rolls round.

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Former Mayor of London announces plans for music fest

Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London, has announced plans for a week long SXSW-style music festival in the UK’s capital.

Livingstone, who is standing for the Labour candidacy in the next mayoral election, has outlined part of his Ken4London campaign: Protecting London’s Live Music.

“What we don’t have is a music industry-based expo in the style of Austin, Texas’s highly successful South By Southwest festival,” he said. “My plan is to bring a little bit of Texas to the capital with a London Music Festival.”

“This project will inject energy into an industry we should all cherish and for one week of the year unite the whole of the city into a celebration of music,” he said.