Future Funk Industry Mixer

Every year, South by Southwest (SXSW) electrifies Austin, Texas, with its blend of music, film, and interactive media. Amidst the chaos of this sprawling festival, Music Forward, ~Pourri, and Rolling Stone joined forces for the Future Funk Industry Mixer.

Music Forward’s Artist Development Manager, Rick Williams headed over to SXSW to check out the event and all SXSW had to offer. Arriving late Thursday, the festivities kicked off with a series of community concerts at Ladybird Lake, offering free performances to the public. Among the acts were Velejo & Bob Snider, whose music set the tone for what was to come. But it wasn’t just the music that drew attention – it was the unexpected presence of ~Pourri and their commitment to transforming the festival’s bathroom experience. Dubbed the “Giant Poo,” just one of ~Pourri’s activations at SXSW, certainly turned heads. 

Meanwhile, Victoria Canal, a 2023 LGBTQ+ Emerging Artist award winner, graced the speakeasy stage, presented by This Fiction. It was only fitting to see the incredible Music Forward Artist set the stage in the same location that the Future Funk Mixer would take place just 24 hours later.

By Friday, the speakeasy had transformed into the ~Pourri Funk Factory! A four-story venue filled with bright colors, chandeliers, multiple performance spaces and the best smelling bathrooms. Crowds piled in to see Janelle Monáe perform as alter ego DJ Johnny Jane, BLK ODYSSY, and Music Forward alums Zach Person and Montana Sand. It is safe to say they brought the house down. 2023 LGBTQ+ Emerging Artist winner, Montana Sand enchanted and mesmerized audiences with their indie country vibes very fitting of the Texas locale. 2015 alum Zach Person rocked the stage with a performance that had audiences bursting into the rest of the night of music and mingling.

It was a partnership that defied even our wildest expectations. It is always an honor to see our alumni growing, thriving, and continuing to push music forward!

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