For the third consecutive year, the Roots will bring South By Southwest to a close with their all-star Bud Light x The Roots & Friends SXSW Jam, which will take place on March 17 at Fair Market in downtown Austin.
This year’s lineup includes fellow rap icon Ludacris, Grammy Award-nominated lyricist Rapsody and newcomers such as singer-songwriter Jesse Reyez, Ireland’s Dermot Kennedy and the New Orleans funk troupe Tank and the Bangas. Surprise drop-in guests are expected throughout the night, as with the previous two editions of the party, which is open to SXSW Music and Platinum badge-holders. Indie rockers Moon Taxi will open the night.
Pre-registration for the Jam will take place at Budlight.com/SXSW.
“It’s definitely becoming an institution,” the Roots’ Black Thought tells Billboard. “It’s something that’s just completely different from the other sort of jam sessions that we do. We’re no strangers to the jam sort of format, but what we curate at South By Southwest has rolled into a unique situation.”
The inaugural Roots Jam featured Naughty By Nature, Talib Kweli, Ashanti and Big Boi’s Big Grams collaboration with Phantogram, while last year’s follow-up shot even wider with the likes of Shakey Graves and Brandy along with T.I., De La Soul, Rae Sremmurd, Method Man and Redman, and a Chuck Berry tribute by Roots guitarist Captain Kirk Franklin.
“It’s carefully curated,” Black Thought says. “We definitely want to present a lineup that is diverse. We want a little classic element, a little old school. We want to present youthful energy. We also want to have some surprises; That’s the sort of thing we’re gonna have to roll with on the spot. Thus far that formula has made for a unique experience there. We’ve been blessed enough to have more people wanting to get inside than inside, and that creates a different sort of energy; If you’re blessed enough to make it into the room then you’re gonna take it less for granted.”
This year’s venue is twice as large as its predecessors, however, and will also feature food from Impossible Burger. Bud Light, which is also SXSW’s official beer sponsor, will be unveiling a series of limited edition Austin-themed aluminum bottles designed by local artists Zuzu Perkal and Heath “Mouf” Speakman, which will be available in Austin throughout the month of March. The company is also working with FastBar for cashless purchases during the show.