Once Again, Super Happy Fun Land Welcomes More Than 100 SXSW Overflow Acts
Actually, by the time you read this, that number will be closer to 90, but you get the point.
Photos by Altamese Osborne
SXSW, Austin's popular music, film and interactive festival, opened its arms to the public this past Friday. In an adjacent welcoming hug, Super Happy Fun Land, Houston's stuffed-animal-strewn East End venue, offered music lovers who may or may not be able to make it to SXSW themselves a taste of the many artists who will be featured in our state's capital. It's the same musical spread, only bite-sized.
Bands like Hip Hatchet, Friend Roulette and Time and Distance (Saturday night), and The Bottom Dollars, Cheers Elephant, The Nuclears and Château Nowhere (Sunday) rang in Super Happy's festival this past weekend with a kick-drum bang.
More than a musical consolation prize, venue owner Brian Arthur explained, this year's Overflow Festival gives artists -- some of whom are traveling from as far as Israel -- an opportunity to circulate their respective sounds throughout the Texas music scene.
"I start getting requests for shows as early as August," says Arthur in a phone interview. "I don't choose them. They choose me."
Arthur started the Overflow Festival nine years ago to meet touring artists' demand.
"We started getting all these bands that wanted shows," he says. "They all wanted them the same day."
Rather than lump them together into a one-day sprint, Arthur chose to spread out the musicians over a two-week period.
"They're also looking to play in nearby cities," he adds.
You read that right; Dallas and San Antonio also wave hello to "up-and-coming bands" during this time. Ultimately, though, SHFL's Overflow Festival provides more "band" for your buck -- $8 nightly, or $24 for all 13 nights.
On the other side of the coin, the festival affords daring music aficionados the opportunity to try out musical genres -- bunge-rock, fusion-pop, stress-rock -- otherwise unknown to them.
To give you an example of the awesomeness of this, live vicariously through our introduction to Château Nowhere, a four-person indie-rock conglomerate made up of Austinite (by way of Paris, France) founder and electric guitarist Philippe Beer-Gabel, bass guitarist Will Krause, drummer Zach Humphrey (both from Austin) and UK-born female lead singer Anna Reuben.