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South by Southwest: Have you heard the rumors?

As if SXSW wasn’t already the most mind-blowingly (yes, we made that up) cool music, film, comedy, photography and interactive festival, it is steeped in rumors and secrets about who may make unannounced appearances. Here we sort through some of SXSW’s juiciest rumors…

Justin Timberlake

The 11th-hour boys

You know how the coolest celebrities arrive last on the red carpet and the less-known celebrities show up, like, a day in advance? It would appear this same concept applies to SXSW.

Is Justin Timberlake really going to play what is largely an indie-fest? That’s a big fat yep. Sort of. JT is confirmed to play a private show, and rumors of a second show are swirling.

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Another heavy hitter throwing their hat in the ring in at the 11th hour is Depeche Mode. Lucky SXSW attendees who show up to Depeche Mode’s March 15 concert will get an exclusive preview of the band’s new album, Delta Machine, which is due out March 26.

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Dave Grohl

I was in the neighborhood

Many rumors about SXSW appearances circulate around a band’s other tour dates in the area. For example, Devin the Dude is performing in Dallas on March 9 and in Austin on March 20, so in the SXSW world, this equates to a SXSW appearance. Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters’ frontman, will be speaking at SXSW, and the Foos have pulled sneak performances at previous SXSW events, so tongues are wagging. The Moody Blues have a small break in their tour schedule right after Dallas and San Antonio mid-March, so it wouldn’t be surprising for them to pull the pop-in too.

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Special guests

Nothing will fuel the flames of SXSW rumors like an act publicizing “and special guests.” When Yelawolf did this, wondered if that meant Eminem (Yelawolf’s mentor) would show. Or maybe Travis Barker, Blink-182’s drummer, would surface because he collaborated with Yelawolf last year.

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Shhhh, it’s a secret

Probably the worst-kept secret about SXSW is its reputation for secret performances. This is such a staple of the festival, MySpace took it to a new and exciting level by hosting a “secret show.” The event will take place in an undisclosed location in Austin, and fans won’t know until the day before each show who is set to perform. It’s hard to believe that a show that had over 2,000 acts last year would have room for secret performances, but it is one of the many characteristics of SXSW that makes it the must-go-to festival of the year. We wish we could tell you more about SXSW’s secret performances, but they are, uh, a secret.


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