SXSW Music Festival 2018 Gallery: Max Richter’s Sleep, Ben Kweller, Salt-N-Pepa, Kurt Vile, Pussy Riot, Khalid

on March 19, 2018, 4:54pm

Once again, South by Southwest overwhelmed Austin, Texas with thousands of bands and concerts setting up shop in every nook and cranny. Ben Kweller returned to the fold. Max Richter’s avant garde, eight-hour, overnight performance Sleep made its North American debut. Salt-N-Pepa showed everyone who’s still boss. Khalid and Tinashe got #LostInMusic. Dr. Pepper’s Jaded Hearts Club Band, featuring Miles Kane, Matt Bellamy, Ilan Rubin, and Chris Cester, reunited for Rachael Ray. Grulke Prize winner Starcrawler redefined the idea of overnight success for a rock act. And, elsewhere, Kurt Vile, White Reaper, Speedy Ortiz, Lucy Dacus, Sunflower Bean, and many more must-see acts turned small spaces into dreamy escapes. Couldn’t make it? Photographer Heather Kaplan was out and about every day and night, as you can see below. Follow her work via Instagram.

Max Richter’s Sleep

At Bass Concert Hall, the best seats in the house were actually the beds onstage. One hundred and fifty of them, to be exact. Attendees — many of them dressed in pajamas — arrived just before midnight to claim their spots, giddy with anticipation for the North American debut of Max Richter’s “Sleep”. After a few short-lived pillow fights and a ton of pre-show Instagramming, the crowd began to settle, putting on eye masks and snuggling under the covers. Once Richter and his fellow musicians took to the stage, the room fell silent. The performance, intended to lull the audience to sleep, achieved its goal almost immediately. Gentle snoring intermingled with piano, vocals and strings. Guests, videographers, and photographers — myself included — tiptoed around onstage in socks to avoid disrupting the show. And to ensure that the gift of a good night’s sleep lived on after the eight-hour concert, event partner Beautyrest donated the mattresses to Austin charities after the show.

SXSW Music 2018