For one week, South By overtook Austin and turned the city into a live music mecca. On Thursday, the mtvU college TV network helped facilitate that when they staged their annual Woodies at SXSW. The awards aim to celebrate the best of new and up-and-coming acts… and a few well-known names too.
It’s safe to say that with the famous artists in town, free-flowing libations galore and the festival atmosphere, SXSW in Austin has become the new Key West Spring Break for the folks at MTV.
The Woodies festival brought out newcomers like Echosmith and London Grammar, as well as hyped artists like Phantogram and Sam Smith. The televised award show had performances from The 1975, Iggy Azalea with a special appearance by Charli XCX, Childish Gambino and a surprise by Lil’ Wayne.
U.K.’s London Grammar is already a worldwide phenomenon, only not in the U.S. They came to SXSW to galvanize their growing American fan base by opening for Coldplay at the iTunes Festival and performing at the Woodies Festival. With bittersweet melodies and haunting female vocals, London Grammar has been compared to Florence and The Machine.
Gina introduced me to Phantogram what seems like eons ago. I saw them open for The Flaming Lips at the OMA’s in 2012 and was again excited to catch them again, this time on a way bigger stage. The New York duo captures the right mix of rock, electronic and pop with their upbeat songs – and they seem to be having a lot of fun with their signature sound onstage.
Iggy Azalea knows how to “work” up a crowd. The fierce rapper strutted all over the stage and even showed off a bit of her belly-dancing skills in Austin, proving that the Australian born rap star is now a truly global sensation. The party turned into a massive riot when she performed her latest hit, “Fancy” accompanied by the one-and-only Charli XCX, who also had a week full of shows at SXSW. The rap/pop power couple finished their set with a climax: colorful confetti and balloons showering down on the friendly crowd.
Check out the full lineup from the mtvU Woodies Festival & Awards.
2014 mtvU WOODIES FESTIVAL:
4:00 PM – Wild Cub
4:30 PM – Vic Mensa
5:00 PM – Echosmith
5:30 PM – Bleachers
6:00 PM – London Grammar
6:30 PM – Sam Smith
7:00 PM – Phantogram
7:30 PM – American Authors
2014 mtvU WOODIE AWARDS:
8:00 PM – The 1975, Iggy Azalea with Charli XCX and Childish Gambino