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Featured Ticket: The Long Road To SXSW

Saturday, the third in a series of five fundraisers throughout the Tampa Bay area moves to St. Petersburg for a performance at Tycoon’s. Urbane Cowboys, The Gita and special guest Ted Lukas will take the stage at 9 p.m.

To help with the cost of getting the bands to Texas for the annual South By Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW), there are several benefits planned in the next few weeks on both sides of the bay.

Six Bay area bands: Ronny Elliott, Damon Fowler, Pagan Saints, The Gita, The Urbane Cowboys, and Barely Pink, are headed to a high profile music showcase next month.

Each March, thousands flock to Austin for SXSW. Throughout the course of five days, bands from all over the world get a chance to be seen and heard by record companies, music journalists and music fans alike.

Bands wanting to be a part of SXSW must apply to be considered for a spot. The committee responsible for selecting the bands receive thousands of applications, but only a few hundred get chosen to participate.

As a result, many bands that are looking for a chance to be heard are sometimes overlooked.

The benefits are following an example set by many of the big labels that hold private parties to attract attention to unknown bands on their roster. Knowing this, the groups got together and decided to throw a party to showcase some of the best original music that the Tampa area has to offer. This provides an opportunity for these bands to be heard by a larger audience and attract the attention of the music industry.

Even bands that will not be making the trip want to help out. Ted Lukas, Mike O’Neill, and Rebekah Pulley have all volunteered to play a fundraiser to help out.

The final fundraiser will take place at the State Theater on March 1.

This will be the big send-off in which all six bands making the trek to Austin will be performing.

Contact Pablo Saldana at