SXSW 2017 Pre-Fest Blog Post: Nick Voogd

SB279, South by Southwest Media Conference is one of the most popular electives at IPR. Each year, students with film, music, and entertainment business backgrounds travel to Austin, Texas, to experience the music, film, panels, and meet-ups that comprise this massive film, music, and interactive event. This year’s group will leave Minneapolis on March 12 and return seven days later, full of new experiences and new connections.

Students spend winter term researching and planning for the event, designing business cards for networking, cleaning up their social media feeds, and creating a medium for documenting the event. Each student will publish a written or video blog in the weeks leading up to the festival, and daily while in Austin.

Nick Voogd's artist/producer business card created for the SXSW Media Conference
Nick Voogd’s artist/producer business card created for the SXSW Media Conference

Selected blogs and V-Blogs will be published here at, but the entire blog feed will be compiled on the IPR SXSW2017 Facebook group page. Please click on “join” to become a member of the group and follow us as we prepare and experience SXSW 2017.

This post by Music & Entertainment Business student Nick Voogd is the first in the series:

SXSW 2017: Trip Focus

 Since the start of the 2017 Winter Quarter, I have been enrolled in the South By Southwest Media Conference class. Now, four weeks into the quarter, my expectations of SXSW have far exceeded my imagination. To be honest, I thought that SXSW was just one giant music festival out in Texas. What I came to learn is that it is more than just music. SXSW includes film, keynotes,  speaker panels, a gaming expo, and a job market.

For my class, the point of this trip is to go down there and network, pass out business cards, and see if you can essentially land a job in the entertainment industry. I’m not exactly sure what the plan is for me. I signed up for this class to go and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience, scope out a city that I have never been to, and hit the bars. At this moment, I can say that my original plan is no longer my primary objective. I’m going to be heading down there with a whole new focus, which is to try to network.

Blog Focus: Hip Hop at SXSW

For this blog series, I am going to focus on two things that I truly love in this crazy world: hip hop and food.

Being a huge fan of a specific style of Hip Hop has been my life for years now. I am definitely more into what you would call a “Backpack Rapper.” A backpack rapper is an artist considered somewhat of a storyteller. It’s a style often heard in the 90s, Boom Bap style of Hip Hop. Even though I use to be very much into mainstream Hip Hip, I lost a lot of interest in that style because I couldn’t totally relate to what they were rhyming about.

While I am in Austin for SXSW, one of my goals is to watch as many Hip Hop acts as possible – whether mainstream or underground, major or independent. I refuse not to take a risk and check out the new, up and coming artists – along with those who have already made a name for themselves in the game. I am definitely excited and looking forward to the future performances I will get to witness, document, and share with everyone.

Blog Focus: Food in ATX

Growing up, I was such a picky eater. I would refuse to try any food that was new to me. Vegetables and seafood were to things I didn’t like – and being born into a Sicilian family, both of those foods were incorporated into each and every dish made.

As I got older, I decided to stop being a fool and finally start trying new dishes. Since then, I can say that I will eat just about anything you put in front of me. I became more curious of the different cuisines which led to my love for the food that this world can produce. While I am down in Austin, I am going to submerge myself in the different cultures and sharing their traditions through food.

Hopefully, I can convince Hip Hop Artist Open Mike Eagle to kick it and have a burger or something and talk about his career. Talk about bring Hip Hop and food together.

-Nick Voogd