SXSW: Garth Brooks plays secret show Friday night

Speculation is an unavoidable part of SXSW. Rumors of secret shows and surprise performers are passed around throughout the week, and sometimes, those rumors aren’t rumors at all.

For example, whispers around town claimed Garth Brooks would perform a surprise show at the Broken Spoke on Friday night, just hours after his keynote speech. Then, at 10:18 p.m., the country legend himself tweeted this photo:

And then, he actually showed up!

Garth Brooks steps onstage for a surprise show at the Broken Spoke. Sharon Chapman/American-Statesman.

Surprise, SXSW! We’ll have more photos from the performance later tonight.

We still don’t know if Frank Ocean will perform tonight and people are losing it

Fans line up at Fair Market for a rumored Frank Ocean show on Friday, March 17, 2017.

Will he or won’t he? Twitter is ablaze with questions about whether or not Frank Ocean will perform at SXSW tonight.

People have QUESTIONS.

It’s making fans crazy!

Everyone is speculating wildly.

This warehouse at 1100 East Fifth St. is also known as Fair Market. It just so happens to be the Fader Fort credential pickup spot. A few Twitter users claim to have actual information confirming Ocean’s appearance tonight.

According to reddit, about 100 believers were lined up at Fair Market around 8:30 p.m. Friday night. But several others have taken to Twitter to shed some light on a grey situation.

One sleuth claims to have dug to the depths of the mystery and came up, well, empty.

UPDATE 9:28 P.M.: Now there’s THIS? We don’t know what to think anymore…

UPDATE 9:46 P.M.: Austin360 can confirm that the inside of the Fair Market warehouse is empty. No stage, no sound system, nothing that suggests a show will take place anytime soon, much less tonight. If you don’t believe us, take their word for it:

That doesn’t necessarily mean Frank won’t turn up somewhere else, though. Will he surprise SXSW tonight? Only time (and Twitter) will tell.

Ryan Adams cancels SXSW appearance due to illness

Ryan Adams performs at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas during the SXSW music festival on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.

Ryan Adams has been taken off the bill tonight at ACL Live.

According to the SXSW Twitter account, Adams cancelled due to illness.

The show is now open to the public. Those without badges or wristbands are welcome.

Other performers in the (now free) showcase are Summer Cannibals, Ron Gallo, Cherry Glazzerr and Austin-based Emily Wolfe.


The City of Austin assures us they’re prepared for Garth Brooks SXSW crowd

If tomorrow never comes, the City of Austin would have been prepared anyway. The people of City Hall anticipated the excitement surrounding tomorrow’s free Garth Brooks show, and they’ve assured the public that there is a plan for the pandemonium.

Garth Brooks speaks at the Austin Convention Center at South by Southwest on Friday March 17, 2017. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

In a press release, the City says “well-developed public safety coordination and planning standards will be implemented to ensure the safety of residents and visitors alike for the Garth Brooks concert.” The plan’s specifics will remain secret due to protocol, according to the release.

And sorry, rubberneckers, but the City also mentions that the stage will be reconfigured overnight so that “there are no other viewing areas at the concert site.” The show is sold out, but you could always spend your savings on some tickets. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Tickets are apparently non-transferable, so probably don’t do that.)

Due to a lack of public parking, the City hopes attendees utilize other transportation methods like Capital Metro. Not big on social graces? There’s also bike parking on site.

He didn’t mean to cause a big scene, but be prepared for one. Plan ahead, stay hydrated, and remember to leave your coolers, chairs, weapons and pets at home.

Tyler, the Creator announces Austin tour stop

Jay Janner/AMERICAN-STATESMAN - Tyler The Creator surfs the crowd during a performance at the Scoot Inn SXSW on Friday March 18, 2011.
Jay Janner/AMERICAN-STATESMAN – Tyler The Creator surfs the crowd during a performance at the Scoot Inn SXSW in 2011.

Now that the smoke has cleared, it appears that Tyler, the Creator is once again welcome in Austin.

The former Odd Future frontman comes to Stubb’s on May 29, two years and two months after he was accused of inciting a riot at Scoot Inn during the 2014 South by Southwest Music Festival. The charges against him were dropped in February, and he announced his triumphant return to our city this week.

Tickets for the show go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at  Members of the E-List will have access to the pre-sale at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Introducing your unofficial 2016 SXSW party guide

Fans cheer for Run The Jewels at the SXSW Spin Party at Stubb's on Friday March 20, 2015. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Fans cheer at the SXSW Spin Party at Stubb’s on March 20, 2015. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

No badge? No problem.

We’re rounding up all the fun (and often free) parties that SXSW brings to town into one helpful guide. Access it from your desktop to do some planning before the madness or check in on your mobile phone while you’re out at the fest to find parties near you. You can always find it at

Most of the events are free and open to the public. A few require an RSVP, and even fewer require a badge. We’ll help you search for the parties that are most accessible to you.

Parties and lineups are still being announced every day, and our database is constantly growing. If you know of a party we’re missing, shoot us an email. Be sure to check back frequently to get the most out of your fest experience!

Now get ready to party.

Børns, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats coming to Austin this spring

Borns during Austin City Limits Music Festival Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (Stephen Spillman / for American Statesman)
Borns during Austin City Limits Music Festival Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (Stephen Spillman / for American Statesman)

UPDATE: Due to overwhelming demand, BØRNS June 7 show has been moved to Stubb’s. Original Scoot Inn tickets will be honored, but more tickets are on sale now.

Indie pop artist BØRNS comes to the Scoot Inn on June 7, and tickets for the show go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. E-list members will have access to the pre-sale at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The 24-year-old Michigan native only appeared on the scene about a year ago, but still made it into the lineup for Lollapalooza, Coachella, SXSW and Austin City Limits Music Festival. Since his ACL Fest appearance last fall, the “Electric Love” singer released his first studio album “Dopamine” to a top 25 spot on the US charts. During the fest, he told us how mermaid sex inspired another one of his singles, “10,000 Emerald Pools.”

Other new and notable acts will park their tour bus in the Live Music Capital of the World this spring, too. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, whose single “S.O.B.” topped Billboard’s adult alternative chart, comes to Stubb’s on April 21. The same stage will host The Neighbourhood on May 19. Their 2013 single “Sweater Weather” took some time to gain traction but was eventually a mainstay on Top 40 radio stations across the country and abroad. Tickets for these shows also go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. with a Thursday pre-sale.

Carly Rae Jepsen coming to ACL Live

MICHAEL BUBLE: HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS -- Pictured: (l-r) Michael Buble, Carly Rae Jepsen -- (Photo by: Chris Large/NBC)
Pictured: (l-r) Michael Buble, Carly Rae Jepsen — (Photo by: Chris Large/NBC)

We really, really (etc.) like that Carly Rae Jepsen is stopping by Austin on her “Gimmie Love Tour” in 2016. She’ll bring her hook-filled pop hits to ACL Live on Feb. 20. Tickets will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. at

Jepsen released her second album, E·MO·TION, in August to mostly positive reviews, but no single song compared to her debut album’s breakout hit, “Call Me Maybe.” The catchy song went viral in 2012, inspiring thousands of YouTube videos and even earning two GRAMMY nominations.

Wednesday’s music picks: Metalachi, Chris Brown


Metalachi at Elysium. Sombreros? Check. Skin tight, spiked leather pants? Check. Copious amounts of skull accessories? Check. A swoon-worthy, violin and trumpet-led cover of Guns ‘n’ Roses “Sweet Child of Mine”? Check, check, check! Believe the hype. Hailing from Ciudad Juárez, the world’s first (only?) heavy metal mariachi band puts on an epic stage show for the folkloric head-banger in all of us. $15. 9 p.m. doors. 705 Red River St. — D.S.S.

Also: R&B singer Chris Brown hits the Austin360 Amphitheater with a travelling road show with appearances from Kid Ink, Omarion and this summer’s big breakout Fetty Wap. … James McMurtry is away from the Continental this week, but the club has a ringer of a substitute for his regular Wednesday night slot, with Charlie Sexton stepping in. … Warren Hood is away for his usual happy-hour gig at ABGB, but his former bandmate Emily Gimble, now with Asleep at the Wheel, is a perfect fill-in. … You may have seen Nashville guitarist Aaron Lee Tasjan with Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ or other fine bands. Catch him doing his own songs tonight at Cactus Cafe. … AJ Vallejo brings SouthTown, one of two new projects the longtime Vallejo frontman has going, to C-Boy’s Heart & Soul. … Singer-songwriter Barbara Nesbitt plays the Saxon Pub at 9 p.m., following Johnny Nicholas’ popular happy-hour gig.

Monday music picks: Downtown Boys, Jimmy LaFave


Downtown Boys at the Mohawk indoor. The Providence punk outfit is bilingual, political and incongruously female fronted. They also really appreciate a good saxophone riff, and, quite frankly, don’t we all? Critical Dad and US Weekly open. $8. 9 p.m. doors. 912 Red River St. — D.S.S.

Also: The Sticky Fingers playing Stubb’s inside is not the self-proclaimed “leading international Stones Tribute band” of the same name, but a quartet of Australian lads who spin out loosely psychedelic dub jams and are perhaps not entirely clear on who Mick Jagger is. … Acoustic trio Tahoma continues its artist-in-residency series of Monday shows in July at Cactus Cafe. … At El Mercado, it’s just another Mystery Monday with host Christine Albert, plus singer-songwriter Jimmy LaFave and guitarist John Inmon sitting in.