Jade Bird, David Ramirez, more to play Sun Radio pop-up live music series during SXSW week
English singer-songwriter Jade Bird and a cast of local musicians including David Ramirez, Erika Wennerstrom and Kalu & the Electric Joint are booked for Sun Radio Pop-Up Sessions, a series of limited-audience live music performances March 15-20 at a variety of locations around Austin.
Ticket prices range from a low of $100 for a two-person table for Zach Person's March 17 show at Blended Culture, to a high of $400 for a four-person table for Jade Bird and Erin Ivey's March 19 show at Z'Tejas Arboretum. Common to several shows is a $200 four-person table.
No individual tickets will be sold. A Sun Radio representative confirmed on Wednesday that mask-wearing and social distancing will be enforced at the shows.
Proceeds benefit the Sun Radio Foundation, a nonprofit that has provided more than $70,000 in pandemic relief to Austin musicians and others in need over the past year.
A free livestream of a non-ticketed performance by Asleep at the Wheel leader Ray Benson from the Wittliff Collections in San Marcos kicks off the series on Monday, March 15, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. via Sun Radio's Facebook page and on the station's YouTube channel. The ticketed shows, available for purchase via the station's website, start the following day:
- March 16, 6-8 p.m.: Erika Wennerstrom and Nightcap at Armadillo Den
- March 17, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: David Ramirez and Sir Woman at Guero's Taco Bar
- March 17, 6-8 p.m.: Zach Person and TBA at Blended Culture
- March 18, 6-8 p.m.: Suzanna Choffel and TBA at Hill Country Outdoor Power
- March 19, 6-8 p.m.: Jade Bird and Erin Ivey at Z'Tejas Arboretum
- March 20, 6-8 p.m.: Kalu & the Electric Joint and TBA at Beerburg Brewing
The shows are taking place during a week that's traditionally jammed with live music in the midst of South by Southwest. With SXSW being entirely online this year because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the usual proliferation of free shows has not materialized. In 2020, the cancellation of SXSW in early March eventually led to dozens of non-SXSW satellite shows being canceled as well.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's move to fully reopen the state for business this week, and to end mask requirements, could result in more live shows happening next week. The situation is further complicated by conflicts between Abbott's order and those from local officials aimed at keeping stricter controls on businesses and mask mandates until Texas' COVID-19 numbers improve.
In addition, more than 30 local venues announced Wednesday that they have created Safe in Sound, a new safety and code-of-conduct program aimed at establishing protocols for live music venues in the wake of Abbott's order.
Participants include some of Austin's premier concert halls and nightclubs, including ACL Live, the Paramount Theatre, Antone's, Stubb's, the Mohawk and the White Horse. Some of those venues already have been presenting occasional limited-capacity shows for a few months, with a variety of safety protocols in place.
More details are at redriverculturaldistrict.org/safe-in-sound.