SXSW is almost upon those of us who are attending, so we’re trying to keep up with emails and RSVP's while prepping our bodies for the marathon and packing major doses of vitamin B12.

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For those who can't make the trek to Austin, there will be a number of opportunities to experience the minute-by-minute happenings, performances, and exclusive video that even the people there on the ground won’t have access to. Plus, audio streams broadcasting live will give everyone in Austin and beyond, stories, news, and music they can take in on the go.

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Now in its 16th year, FADER FORT returns with four full days of musical performances from March 15 - 18. Since 2001, FADER FORT grew in popularity, expanding its footprint with massive crowds showing up to check out the artists and the FORT experience, following Twitter rumors of evening shows with suprise appearances, all of which contributed to the magic of SXSW.

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This year they return to their roots in a "nod to The FADER’s inaugural showcase in 2001," moving the festivities to a more intimate venue at 1209 East 6th Street (Volcom Garden) while still presenting a multi-use, indoor and outdoor environment to mashup music, the arts, drinks, lounging and playing.

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“It has been ELEVEN days, Stephen,” Jon Stewart said during his January 31st guest appearance on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, “Eleven. Fucking. Days. ELEVEN!” And then, looking into the audience and the camera, he stated what we were all experiencing, “The presidency is supposed to age the president, NOT the public.”

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That was only eighteen f*#king days ago. What’s happened since then plays out like a TV reality show based on a mashup of “Hunt For Red October 2: Defecting TO Russia,” “Dumb and Dumber,” and “ Liar Liar.”

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Timing is everything, and there couldn’t be a more perfect time for “Where’s the Revolution?” the first and newest single from Depeche Mode’s upcoming 14th studio album, Spirit.

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Directed by Anton Corbijn with a WWII era filter, the lyrics resonate with the political and cultural climate that’s been percolating since the early Bush years (“They manipulate and threaten /
 With terror as a weapon”) and are fully boiling over in the Trump era (“Scare you till you're stupefied / Wear you down until you're on their side”).

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2017 SXSW Music Round One Artist Announcement - The Drums 

After last month’s sneak peek at 50 artists approved to perform in 2017, SXSW took the next step in their music programming with the Round One Artist Announcement. To date, this tallies up to just over 200 bands. Expect that number to increase 10 fold by the time March comes around. March 10-19, 2017 to be exact.

Here is my first sneak peek of the Kaffeine Buzz pick list that will continue to grow over the next six months, with the full SXSW Music list to follow.

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Brands are in a current state of flux in how they reach consumers. The ad-blocking Tsunami - which equals 415 million people, or about 22% of the world’s smartphone owners -- has thrown off brands’ traditional advertising practices.

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Good news arrives eight months ahead of the international meeting of minds, musicians, influencers, auto engineers, geeks, filmmakers, fintech programmers, biometric scientists, artists, iconoclasts, doctors, entrepreneurs, and policy makers: SXSW 2017 will provide expanded access to all attendees for its Interactive, Film, and Music programming.

SXSW Enables All Attendees to Access Interactive, Film and Music in 2017

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This past weekend wrapped the 2016 Governors Ball, and although Day 3 of the festival was canceled due to weather predictions of lightning and flooding, Days 1 and 2 packed a punch. For those of us not physically at the festival, we were still able to enjoy daytime sets from Eliot Sumner, London Soul, Holly Miranda, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and Kristine and the Queens via the Gov Ball webcast on Live Nation TV’s YouTube channel. In the evening, VICELAND’s Noisy cable channel aired live performances as well (albeit, with idiotic banter by Noisey hosts in between acts).

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Part 1 of The Connected Music Series, “Music Sponsorships: The Golden Ticket for Brands That Get It,” covered the benefits, data, and examples of sponsored live events done well by brands, with Part 2, "The Social Mobile Concertgoer - Love 'Em or Hate 'Em?" spotlighted the data behind the continuing rise of mobile and social usage in the live event space, with St. Lucia, AEG, and Facebook weighing in on each side of the coin, positive and negative.

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In 2016, Canadian Music Week will showcase over 1,000 bands in the 10-day run of the music festival. And while all the musicians are playing their hearts out at night, during the day the business side of music is being discussed and intelligence shared during the 3-Day Music Summit, May 5-7, with executives and performers alike taking part in panels, keynotes, interviews, networking opportunities and workshops, covering social media, live touring, technology, and the global world of creation.

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