Gibson Guitar will be at the heart of the rock and roll action this week, as Austin, Texas plays host to thousands of bands, artists and industry movers and shakers for one of the coolest annual events on the music business calendar: South by Southwest.

Tune in here all week as we bring you pics and streaming video from this epic soirée.

Gibson Showcase live from Maggie Mae's in Austin, TX

Day 1 Aboard the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

Live from the Gibson Showcase

Here’s a preview of some of the festival’s big events:

USPS Presents Latin Music Legends Forever Stamps, Sponsored by Epiphone Guitar
10 to 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 16
SXSW - Austin Convention Center, Ballroom G – Day Stage, 500 East Cesar Chavez Street

(For SXSW badge and wristband holders only)

The U.S. Postal Service is hosting a First-Day-of-Issue ceremony to unveil their Latin Music Legends Commemorative Forever Stamps. Five legendary musicians – Selena, Carlos Gardel, Carmen Miranda, Tito Puente and Celia Cruz – will be honored on the stamps. Among the distinctive musical genres and styles represented are Tejano, Tango, Samba, Latin Jazz and Salsa. The stamps go on sale March 16 and will make their debut at SXSW. They will be part of a special tour wrapping up during Latin Heritage month, September 15 to October 15. Epiphone has partnered with the U.S. Postal Service on a one-of-a-kind element to help tie in the musical theme – a series of five customized Epiphone SST Studio guitars, each featuring the artwork of the Latin Music Legend Forever Stamps, which will be unveiled as part of the ceremony on March 16. The five guitars will be retired with the Smithsonian as part of their touring exhibit. Grammy award-winning Latin band Grupo Fantasma is slated to perform.

Roky Erickson’s Ice Cream Social Sponsored by Epiphone Guitar
11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, March 17
Threadgill’s, 301 West Riverside Drive

($5 cover)

Roky Erickson is known worldwide as a pioneer of psychedelic rock, and each year this event brings in surprise guests who in the past have included the likes of Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Peter Buck of R.E.M. This year, Epiphone is teaming up with the John Lennon Educational Tour bus to bring family fun to the event. Tours of the bus will be available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Epiphone is hosting the Epiphone Kids Zone for little rock stars to jam on cool Epiphone guitars! Guests also have the opportunity to win a grand prize package including an Epiphone Casino guitar – the same model Lennon played – and an AVID Eleven Rack courtesy of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus. Gibson is providing a guitar signed by Billy Gibbons as a raffle grand prize.

Gibson Guitar Showcase
Noon to 5:30 p.m., Friday, March 18
Maggie Mae’s Gibson Room, 6th and Trinity Streets (entry to Gibson Room located on Trinity)


Gibson Guitar is hosting its signature event, the 4th Annual Gibson Guitar Showcase at Maggie Mae’s Gibson Room on Friday, March 18 from noon to 5:30 p.m. Entry is free and open to the public. Headlining this year’s Gibson Showcase are New West Artists Rhett Miller and Murry Hammond of the Old 97’s. Other performers include roots-rock and Americana favorites Sons of Bill, Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward, Terri Hendrix & Lloyd Maines, Robert Ellis, Somebody’s Darling, Mike Ethan Messick and The Trishas. Guests also will have the chance to win a Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar!

Bilda, Export Music Sweden and Peace & Love Festival Present Swedish Day Party
Produced by House of Songs
1 to 5 p.m., Saturday, March 19

Antone’s, 213 W. 5th Street

(For SXSW badge and wristband holders only)

The House of Songs is an international songwriting exchange program in which musicians from around the world travel to Austin and collaborate with their Texas counterparts. House of Songs is working with Sweden’s most renowned music brands to bring this international collaboration to the famed Antone’s stage on Saturday, March 19. This event will showcase a mix of up-and-coming Swedish acts and well known bands that have toured the world over, including The Soundtrack of Our Lives (Oasis’ favorite band, nominated for best alternative album at the Grammy Awards in 2003) and stars of tomorrow like Hanna Turi, who is part of the House of Songs Songwriting project for SXSW. SXSW Showcase
8 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, March 19
Antone’s, 213 West 5th Street

(For SXSW badge and wristband holders only)

Gibson Guitar will be at the Official SXSW Music showcase at Antone’s in downtown Austin on the final night of Music Week to wrap up SXSW 2011. This is arguably the most renowned club in Austin and the show features an incredible lineup, including Joe Ely, Carolyn Wonderland, Cody Canada & Seth James and Sons of Bill. Fans also will have the chance to win a Gibson guitar!