The Road to SXSW 2018: Vacations

Catching up with Vacations‘ own Campbell Burns recently ahead of the band’s upcoming debut at SXSW, it’s evident that the magnitude of this festival has not escaped the Newcastle indie group. Already gearing up to kick through 2018 with brand new music and a smashing live show to match, it seems that the America should be the perfect place to start, no?

As part of our SXSW pre-event series, we find out a little more about Vacations, and what they hope to get out of the experience.

Have you played SXSW before?

Nope! Always been a life goal of mine though, so you can imagine I’m stoked to be involved, especially after I sent my application on a whim.

What are some expectations you have of the event and Austin in general?

  • I’m hoping to see a lot of ten gallon hats and cowboy boots on show.
  • A million good bands and events I’ll want to attend to but they’ll all be on at the same time.
  • Rushing around the city to make it to my own showcases.

How crucial do you think the opportunity to perform at and attend an event like this is for an Australian artist?

So so important, especially coming from a non-major city like Newcastle. The music and arts culture here has been steadily blossoming over the past few years, spearheaded by bands like RAAVE TAPES and FRITZ, and collectives/groups like Banshee and the now-defunct Grouse House. To represent that culture, Newcastle, and Australia as a whole, makes me feel like I’m running in the Olympics.

What are you hoping to get out of the experience this year?

I want to establish some strong connections and also make some new friends along the way.

What’s the most important element of SXSW for your band to experience or learn from?

Travelling and performing in another country. The big thing for me is that I’m flying to the other side of the world by myself and meeting up with some musicians I know, but never met, in Chicago. I feel like it’s going to be quite a personal experience with a lot of character building, and in a such short space of time too.

Is your band performing elsewhere around the US?

I wish! We originally planned on doing a West Coast tour, starting in LA and arcing our way to Austin. Due to the expense of VISAs, flights, and the logistics of travelling such a distance across the country, we had to cut that idea till it becomes viable.

Which other artists are you looking forward to catching?

There’s a band called No Vacation who I adore and we last year I messaged them over Facebook saying how funny it’d be to get a photo together, fast forward to now and we’re both playing SXSW. Hopefully we run into one another when we’re not too busy with showcases.

What kind of show could you guarantee an American crowd coming to your set for the first time?

Expect a lot of jangly guitars and me yelling a lot of Australian colloquialisms. I’ve never played with these musicians before and it might be the only time I ever have a completely different backing band, that alone will make these shows have a very unique vibe. I’d really like to rock a giant cowboy hat as well, to get into the spirit of SXSW.

SXSW runs from March 9th – 18th this year. Find out more about Vacations’ presence there via their official event profile, here.


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