See the first-ever SXSW lineup: one page of bands, no day parties - Reverb

The first-ever SXSW schedule: No day parties, no Fader Fort, no Friday shows

SXSW Year One

The lineup poster from the first year of SXSW.

If you’ve been to SXSW in the last decade, it would be hard to imagine the behemoth festival as a baby.

What did he look like way back then? Who actually came? Did bands ever get signed out of the annual Austin outing?

It’s safe to say you wouldn’t have recognized SXSW when it first started in 1987. Have a look at this schedule for the first-ever event in 1987 and take in its charm, its lack of beer logos, its lack of Friday shows (gasp!) and its delightful straightforwardness.

Starting a music festival from scratch is truly a trip with countless unexpected turns. (We’ve experienced it all on a significantly smaller level with our own four-day indie music bash the UMS.) And we’re going to try to remember this simple one-sheet schedule from 1987 as we’re crawling over sweaty bodies on Sixth Street next week.

From March 12-17, more than 5,000 bands will head down to Austin, a number that would likely shock the modest number of bands there 26 years ago.

Reverb will be bringing its own crop of national and local bands to the music portion of SXSW. You can RSVP for Reverb’s SXSW 2013 day party here.

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Ricardo Baca is the founder and executive editor of Reverb, the co-founder of The UMS and an award-winning critic and editor at The Denver Post.

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  • Jacksonintheatx

    I was there! A wristband was $10.00. As far as I know none of these bands made a splash at a national level.