Buffalo roams 

Brother Bear at The Buffalo Lounge in 2012
Photo: Stephen Carradini

Started in 2011, The Buffalo Lounge is a showcase for the Sooner State’s artists at the massive music, film and interactive festival that is SXSW. Its first year was a rousing success.

“We went down there, and it could have flopped,” said Daniel Walcher, a singer/songwriter who played that initial outing. “But instead, people thought, ‘Holy cow!’ It has grown exponentially. I know a lot of people who are excited every year to see what’s coming out of Oklahoma.”

The Buffalo Lounge’s rise has mirrored SXSW’s rise in miniature. Originally started as a local music festival in 1987, SXSW has grown into one of the world’s largest industry events for entertainment professionals: a 10-day smorgasbord that crams more than 60,000 thought leaders into an already bustling city.

The heart of the action is Sixth Street, where every bar and restaurant sports a makeshift stage to host the newest crop of bands trying to make it big.

O Fidelis at The Buffalo Lounge in 2012
Photo: Stephen Carradini

For 2013’s edition, The Buffalo Lounge is moving from its original, small home at Friends Bar to the large, two-story venue The 512, 408 E. Sixth.

“We were looking to expand. Friends had been a very good venue for us, but we needed a lot more space,” said Ginger Roddick, partner with the The Idea Collective, a brand marketer that helped found and continues to work with The Buffalo Lounge.

In both official and unofficial showcases, The Buffalo Lounge will showcase 43 Oklahoma artists (see the full list below), but the big number doesn’t diminish the quality of the acts or the invite.

“It’s a huge deal to be asked to play South by Southwest,” said Walcher. “I don’t know any bands that wouldn’t be honored to play an official showcase.”

Those SXSW showcases are indeed a big deal. Broncho and Colourmusic were covered by several national news sources at 2011’s lounge. These sets can make or break a band, and The 512’s spot right in the middle of the action allows Oklahoma bands to take advantage of the powerful pop-culture zoo that mills about on the closed-to-traffic Sixth Street for the week.

“The idea was to have the iconic Sixth Street in the background while our bands are playing,” said Roddick. “But The Buffalo Lounge isn’t just about the SXSW week. The impact goes far beyond it, as attendees from all over the country and the world take the
lounge experience and new knowledge of the artists home with them. By
being one of only a handful of state entities to host official SXSW
parties, we provide an outlet to promote our state to a global

43 from the 405 (and the 918)
Beau Jennings & the Tigers
Blake Fischer
The Bourgeois
Colin Nance
Daniel Walcher
Day One
The Del Toros
Defining Times
Depth & Current
Desi and Cody
Dustin Pittsley Band
Horse Thief
Hudson Roar
Josh Sallee
The Kamals
The Lower 40
Mark Gibson
Modern Rock Diaries
Mont Lyons
My So-Called Band
OK Sweetheart
Parker Millsap
Paul Benjaman Band
Ripple Green
Samantha Crain
Skating Polly
Stardeath and White Dwarfs
Susan Herndon
Taddy Porter
We the Ghost
Zach Winters

Editor’s note: Stay tuned for on-the-scene reports at SXSW 2013.

Hey! Read This:
The Buffalo Lounge at SXSW 2011 feature    
The Buffalo Lounge at SXSW 2012 feature   
• Colourmusic interview      
Daniel Walcher interview     

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