NPR Music SXSW Showcase 2017

May 2017

A successful six hours of dancing, high kicks and passionate tunes went down at Stubb’s BBQ in March during the NPR Music SXSW Showcase, presented for a second year with support from Blue Headphones.

“A showcase so strong you can plunk down there for the night,” as Billboard described it. Thousands of fans arrived early for a lineup of performances by some of the most anticipated artists at the festival. Rolling Stone named PWR BTTM, Hurray for the Riff, and Big Thief in its list of “10 Artists Making a Splash at SXSW 2017,” and Sylvan Esso, Lizzo, and New Pornographers all had press buzzing before the Showcase as well.

NPR Music Showcase at SXSW

NPR Music Showcase Lineup. Photo Credit: Adam Kissick for NPR Music

NPR Music and Blue Headphones crafted a seamless SXSW experience for music fans on the ground in Austin and those who tune in at home, largely inspired by the spirit of the artists on the Showcase. Original, co-branded artwork featuring illustrations of neon rockers outfitted Stubb’s, fan swag, digital promotion of the event and Blue Headphones’ campaign too.

Leading up to the NPR Music Showcase, co-branded posters and banners decorated the high-traffic areas of Austin including 6th Street, the Austin Convention Center and the Showcase venue, Stubb’s BBQ. While 600+ fans at Stubbs’s were treated to co-branded tote bags…

NPR Music Showcase at SXSW

Co-branded NPR Music showcase prominently branded with support from Blue Headphones. Photo Credit: Caitlin Sanders and Illustrations by LA Johnson

… and a few lucky give-away winners were gifted Blue’s newly-unveiled Sadie Headphones. Blue also adorned the artists’ green room with pop-up banners promoting their current and forthcoming products, and co-branded totes with Blue’s Sadie Headphones that were given to the artists.

NPR Music Showcase at SXSW

Throughout the evening, NPR Music recognized Blue Headphones’ ongoing support, which dates back to 2015, and Blue’s CEO John Maier joined the team on stage to talk about their passion for music and how that drives their company forward:

“We’re thrilled to be here with NPR not just for this event tonight but on a regular basis supporting their awesome music programs. Blue is a company full of musicians and music lovers, and we see our life’s work as helping people find and amplify their voices.”

The night went on, offering eclectic mix of pop, electronic, rock, punk and hip-hop, while the Blue Headphones and NPR Music logos shined over the stage. 

NPR Music SXSW Showcase 2017

Sylvan Esso at the NPR Music SXSW Showcase 2017

With fans and other publications raving about the event, it’s clear the NPR Music SXSW Showcase with Blue Headphones was the place to be.


Stubb’s in Austin always hosts the biggest showcases at SXSW,
and SXSW 2017 proved to be no exception, with their NPR Showcase featuring a slew of up-and-coming acts.

NPR Music Showcase at SXSW


NPR Music Showcase at SXSW, Lullabies & More Video Coverage

Performances from the NPR Music SXSW Showcase can be found at the NPR Music’s SXSW hub, which also features the Austin 100 – a downloadable 100-song playlist highlighting some of the festival’s most exciting discoveries – as well as interviews, photos, reports and the South X Lullabies performance series. Each year, amidst the whirlwind that is SXSW, NPR Music selects some of their favorite artists to perform quiet sets late at night on some of the lesser-known stages in Austin: hotel lobbies, balconies, in art installations and beyond. This year NPR Music released nine lullabies over the course of the week including intimate sets from: Jealous Of The Birds, L.A. Salami (featured below), Let’s Eat Grandma, Valerie June, DakhaBrakha, Nina Diaz & Y La Bamba’s Luz Elena Mendoza, Phoebe Bridgers, Lydia Ainsworth and Nick Hakim.

Between the NPR Music Showcase and South X Lullabies alone, tens of thousands of hours of NPR Music video have been viewed by fans since SXSW.


As the exclusive sponsor of NPR Music at SXSW this year, Blue was recognized across all the content online including custom integrations on YouTube, Facebook,, the NPR Player and beyond. Click here to see examples of Blue’s custom digital campaign.


Illustrations by LA Johnson

Those drumming along at home can experience more of the Austin festival through photos, live sets and slow-motion videos on the NPR Music SXSW hub. 


Sponsor NPR Music
NPR Music launched ten years ago as of this year. It started with one goal – to be arbiters of music discovery for fans. And with support along the way from brands such as Blue Headphones, NPR Music is able to continue delivering on that mission.

Its range of powerful, high-quality music programming and focus on highlighting new artists has made NPR Music essential to many fans and musicians, reaching 4.4 million unique monthly visitors on its site alone. Brands can seamlessly align with this recognized music tastemaker through custom, cross-platform activation.

NPR Music has even more great events and projects coming up in their 10th Anniversary year. Be part of the celebration as a sponsor. Opportunities include award-winning video, chart-topping podcasts and dynamic live events. Visit our NPR Music page or contact your NPR rep to learn more.