There's good news and bad news if you're interested in, say, seeing Lady Gaga in Austin, Texas, on Thursday.
First, the bad news. To secure entry into the concert, which is sponsored by a snack food company and part of the South by Southwest festival and conference, one must complete any number of social media stunts. The good news, however, is one doesn't need to be in Austin to watch the concert at all.
Lady Gaga's Thursday night appearance at the relatively intimate Stubb's BBQ -- if a venue with a capacity of just more than 2,000 can be considered intimate -- is only one of many South by Southwest music events that will be available online. Lady Gaga's concert will be streamed by Fuse at 8 p.m. PDT.
The pop star then will on Friday be delivering the annual South by Southwest keynote, one of many music-focused talks happening this week. Some, such as Neil Young's talk on Tuesday to discuss his PonoMusic system, are available on the festival's official website, and if you want to know what Gaga has to say, head to NPR's website Friday at 9 a.m. PDT.
But if you don't count yourself among Lady Gaga's cadre of Little Monsters, Apple's iTunes Festival will bring the likes of Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar and Pitbull to Austin. The festivities start tonight (Tuesday) with Coldplay at 8 p.m. PDT. Lamar headlines Wednesday, Soundgarden on Thursday, Pitbull on Friday and Keith Urban on Saturday.
The iTunes festvial will be streamed by Vevo, via its app, with the concerts beginning each night at 6 p.m. PDT, except for tonight when it kicks off at 5:30 pm. PDT. Tune in early for a number of up-and-coming artists, including the sedate orchestral pop of London Grammar (Tuesday) or local rap star in the making Schoolboy Q (Wednesday).
NPR on Wednesday will be live streaming its annual showcase. This year's headliners include Blur frontman Damon Albarn, who will release a solo effort this spring, the avant-pop of St. Vincent, the return of R&B's Kelis and young punk band Perfect Pussy. The Stubb's BBQ concert starts at 5:50 p.m. PDT.
South by Southwest was once dedicated largely to discovery, and there are some options for viewing future headliners. Austin's longstanding Waterloo Records will be hosting afternoon in-store concerts Wednesday through Saturday and promises to live stream the concerts on its site.
There's plenty to tune in for, including a back-to-back bill of observational pop and whimsical arrangements with Hospitality and Wild Child on Wednesday starting at 1 p.m. PDT. Other artists appearing at Waterloo over the four-day span include electro-pop artist Charli XCX, New York rockers the Skaters and Mary Lambert of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fame. Concerts start at 10 a.m. PDT each day.
From Wednesday through Saturday, the annual Fader Fort will be presenting full days of buzz and branding starting at about 11 a.m. PDT. Those appearing include English dream rockers Temples, the coming-of-age rap of Chicago's Vic Mensa, the digitally enhanced soul of Sam Smith and the R&B-focused music/art project of Young & Sick.
Also, Web portal Yahoo will stream an appearance from Blondie at about 9:45 PDT on Thursday.