Among the many large gatherings to be canceled due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus, the SXSW Music Festival has arguably the largest impact on up-and-coming musicians — artists from around the world who'd been scheduled to perform this week around Austin, Texas. The festival has a truly global reach, as more than 1,500 acts were scheduled to perform; they represent a large and daunting world of music that spans many dozens of countries, not to mention countless genres and subgenres.
Every year, NPR Music staffers head down to Austin to share our favorite SXSW discoveries — artists we end up talking about for months and years to come. That's always been the point of going for us, and there's no reason we shouldn't continue to use this year's festival as an opportunity to proselytize on behalf of our favorites. Whether or not you were ever planning to attend SXSW 2020, you can use the festival's remarkable lineup to help you discover incredible music.
That's where The Austin 100 comes in. Just as SXSW tries to scale the world's musical discoveries down to a single week in a single city, The Austin 100 attempts to scale SXSW down to a single six-hour playlist — a multi-genre feast that spans 100 songs, 6 continents, 21 countries and 21 of our own 50 states (plus Puerto Rico). From delicate folk to punishing metal, from Afropop to Latin rock to country to hip-hop and beyond, every song is a handpicked favorite.
We've provided several ways to listen: Each artist has an individual Austin 100 page with links, a bit of biographical context and a way to hear a terrific song. And, as always, you can hear the whole thing via streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. In the coming days, NPR Music, All Songs Considered and Alt.Latino will offer more recommendations and discoveries from SXSW 2020, so come join us and enjoy the music!
The Austin 100