ABIA music keeps the SXSW party going
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For South by Southwest attendees arriving in the Capital City by air, music will be the first and last thing they hear.
The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport music program started out right after the airport opened in 1999, making a good first impression on those visiting the ‘Live Music Capital of the World.’
Musicians say they love playing for the crowds.
"What I'm noticing is people bringing the kids in to keep them busy--acoustic music, Americana music, kids go crazy for it," musician Sean Tracey said. "So it’s working out people are sitting here keeping the kids entertained and busy,"
A good crowd gathered at ABIA Friday for a show at the Ruta Maya coffee shop.
"It's just two guys sitting down with acoustic instruments just having fun playing music, that used to happen a lot more frequently in our culture and I think it’s really wonderful that the powers that be here at the airport that they value that as well," musician Mark Rubin said.
There are six different venues across the airport. Passengers can catch 23 different shows per week.
Each show is performed by local musicians who are compensated by the venue's owner.
"You have three things that make a gig fun, you have the situation that you're in, you have the people that you play music with and you have how much does it pay, and all three of those things are pretty great,” Rubin said.
Nashville and New Orleans have similar programs at their airports. ABIA officials say those cities got the idea from us.