Feature: SXSW by Brendan Carroll

A couple of weeks ago in Austin, Texas, a large music festival called SXSW (South by South West) took place. It’s basically 5 days of hundreds of bands playing shows, art festivities, awesome food, cowboys and the occasional python boot (Zappa anyone?). Austin based photographer, Brendan Carroll, was an attendee this year and was able to photograph the event. Continue reading below to read a bit about him, a short write-up of his time there, and the photographs he kindly shared with us. 


I’m a 24 year old artist from Chicago, Illinois. I work in mediums of photography, installation art, drawing, and painting. I recently moved to Austin, Texas two months ago after traveling in a tiny camper trailer named “The Nude Melon”. I have two dogs named Batty and Teddy who are blue heeler mixes.

I went to school at Columbia College Chicago for radio. I have always been interested in documenting people, places and their stories. I used to live in an apartment that had a big bay window over busy Clark St in Chicago. Not having cable TV, I would stare out that window for hours, addicted to examining the beautiful chaos Chicago had to offer. Taking peoples pictures broke the ice. Once you take a persons picture they feel connected to you and open up, I was captivated by this ability photography possessed and have been shooting ever since.  

People like to knock SXSW for not being the edgy underground experience that it used to be, but I still enjoy it. Thousands of like-minded creative people from all over the world come together for one week to listen to new music and talk about their work. This is a really great experience that shouldn’t be taken advantage of.

Many shows with notable headliners had lines of people stretched across multiple city blocks. The diversity of people on the streets of Austin made shooting photos so enjoyable. The best performances I saw were from Mick Jenkins, and Sunflower Bean. Mick’s display of energy and overall creative delivery summed up the entire feeling I felt all week at SXSW. 

Close up of fashion designer Camile Tanoh. He was holding two iPhones in his hands trying to organize the next move. 

The Whataburger drive thru was like a nascar racetrack with cars flying through 24/7. Late at night, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see your favorite artists getting real sloppy on a messy cheeseburger. 

Everybody was dressed on fleek; trying to show off what they had to offer and make connections. 

The constant sunlight made Austin pop and look amazing. 

Cowboys are everywhere. 

No matter where you turned, there was a show happening. 

Be sure to check out the rest of Brendan’s work on his website at brendanxcarroll.com and follow his instagram account @cakeandcrime.