For emerging bands and musicians, a performance in Austin during South By Southwest (SXSW) can be a once in a lifetime opportunity to grab the attention of hotshot record executives. Unfortunately, performance space is limited during SXSW, and without a great marketing team, the chances of being heard are slim.
To help up-and-coming artists gain credibility and generate buzz that turns heads at SXSW, the young entrepreneurs and staff at Terrorbird Media, a Brooklyn-based boutique music marketing company, rigorously publicize their clients on non-commercial and college radio stations across the nation, building momentum and legions of die-hard fans.
Having played the records of their favorite and generally lesser-known bands at their respective college radio stations, co-founders Jessica Caragliano (pictured) and George Corona established Terrorbird in 2006 out of impulse-driven youth and a desire to help mold the future of the music industry.
“I was 24 at the time, and I wanted to work with the bands I wanted to work with, make my own rules, use my own techniques, and not have to answer to anyone,” Caragliano says. “I told myself, ‘I don’t have a mortgage, I don’t have a family yet, and I don’t have the same responsibilities as I would have if I was trying to start my own business if I was older’. So, I thought that if I fail at this point in my life, what’s the worst that could happen?”
Since opening in 2006, Caragliano, Corona, and the Terrorbird crew have helped further the careers of numerous artists, including Regina Spektor, Animal Collective, and Moby. They’ve also expanded their business operations beyond non-commercial and college radio promotion, to include social media marketing and licensing services.
Though, much of the work in today’s marketing industry has shifted online, SXSW is a unique opportunity for artists and businesses of all levels to network.
“SXSW is the one event of the year that most people in our industry attend,” Caragliano says. “Attendance-wise, you get a full picture. If you want to meet someone, they will be at SXSW.”
For people within the music industry, attending concerts is just a part of the job, but SXSW brings in a breath of fresh air and new talent, just waiting to be discovered by record labels and marketing groups such as Terrorbird.
“I see so many bands on a regular basis,” Caragliano says. “So, to me the most exciting experiences are stumbling upon new bands, reliving that experience of having my mind blown by bands that I haven’t heard before. If you’re seeing shows every night, like I do, the allure can wear off. But in Austin, I can become a fan again, and relive that spark!”
Terrorbird Media and Force Field PR will showcase several of their artists at their 4th Annual SXSW Day Party on Wednesday, March 16. Additionally, Terrorbird will showcase more artists at their Licensing SXSW Day Party! On Saturday, March 19.