Music is alive and well at SXSW 2022, which has already seen hundreds of artists grace the stages across the city. More than 200 musicians on the lineup this year are from Austin, in addition to the dozens of countries represented on stage this year.
These are just a few of the shows we’ve been able to catch so far, but you can catch live music on stages across the city through Monday.
Golden Dawn Arkestra
Colorful, danceable Golden Dawn Arkestra is one of the most unique bands you’ll find in Austin. With sparkling dancers, a huge range of instruments and funky psychedelic sound, the band is inspired by Sun Ra Arkestra’s fanciful visuals. Their song, "Phenomenal," will remind you that you are more than worthy—you're incredible. Be yourself, love those around you and explore the galaxy: that’s the message of Golden Dawn Arkestra.
Chief Cleopatra’s dream-pop R&B is quickly bringing her to the forefront of the local music scene. A lifelong Texan and musician who grew up singing in her church choir, Cleopatra’s genre-bending music tells relatable stories of choosing your friends wisely and new love. Her new EP, “Luna,” is streaming now.
A delightful mixture of Americana, R&B and soul, Jake Lloyd’s Continental Club show attracted a diverse crowd of those young and old. Half of Geto Gala, a project done alongside fellow Austin-based artist Deezie Brown, Jake Lloyd put on an energetic set as he danced for the crowd and did a cover of Cameo’s “Word Up.”
The only non-local artist on our list, New Zealand-born multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Kimbra’s spiritual set was fittingly held in a church. Since Kimbra’s career exploded when she was featured on Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” she has continued to shape pop as her own genre. Kimbra performed yet-to-be-released music, using a looper to create the song from the ground up, live.
With an unexpectedly enormous voice, Jade Bird often performs with just herself and an acoustic guitar on stage. The new Austinite shared one stage that SXSW was one of the reasons she fell in love with the city before breaking into a never-before-released song, "Save Your Tears." Her newest album, “Different Kinds of Light,” is streaming now.
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In a Thursday tweet, Elon Musk denied Austonia’s report that he’s planning to build a private airport somewhere east of Austin.
“Not true,” Musk wrote. That “would be silly,” noting that Tesla is “5 mins from Austin International airport.”
Austonia sources have told us Musk is frustrated with the slow pace of Austin-Bergstrom’s capacity expansion and may have offered ABIA substantial funding if the airport accelerated its timetable for improvements specified in its Airport Expansion & Development program, also known as the 2040 Master Plan.
We contacted Mookie Patel, the airport’s Chief Officer Business & Finance. Our response came from an airport information officer who said that “we have not received any offers from Mr. Musk or his companies,” but didn’t say whether there had been discussions.
We’ve also heard that Musk wants ready access to an east/west runway, which ABIA does not have. His tweet mentioned that “the existing commercial airport needs another runway.”
Since publishing our original story, we’ve heard from readers who’ve suggested Musk could get additional capacity by taking over or joining an existing airport project in the Austin-Bastrop corridor. We know of two:
- Greenport, a 5,000 acre Bastrop project that’s advertising available facilities pending a 2022 opening. A site rendering shows an east/west runway. A person associated with the project, TR Reid of Carpenter & Associates, said “in terms of any kind of speculation or rumors or whatnot, we wouldn’t comment on that.”
- Central Texas Airport, a project that’s in an undetermined state of development, near the intersection of FM 969 and FM 1704.
If you have any first-person insight into any aspect of this story, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nick Nanakos is taking the long view.
Founder and CEO of Austin-based ZIKI, Nanakos is on a "multi-decade, global-scale conquest to build the most significant company to ever exist in food."
His Spartan ancestry has made him a fighter for excellence, and his Macedonian heritage (think Alexander the Great) may be what helps drive him toward empire.
Venture capital firm Gigafund, core Elon Musk backers who invested more than $1B into SpaceX, are backing Nanakos's expansive vision of disrupting and transforming the food industry on an industrial scale.
His plan to optimize and re-aggregate multiple elements—ingredients, chefs, cooking techniques, agriculture, teams, factories, real estate, systems, technology, design, and logistics—all integrated on a foundation of proprietary technology, reminds at least one of his investors of a famous trillion-dollar Austin-based company.
"ZIKI is approaching restaurants the same way Tesla approaches cars—with a master plan to be the fastest, most creative company in the category," said investor Ryan Metzger.
ZIKI is short for "Tzatziki," Greek cuisine's most iconic flavor
ZIKI is a fast-casual restaurant serving Greek & Mexican fusion. Signature bowls, zurritos, salads, sides, drinks, and desserts. The brand's hot pink color illuminates from a distance and is impossible to miss. Food is prepared fresh daily. Veggies, dairy, and meats are sourced locally.
The Zurrito, Greek Fries, Falafel Bowl, Gyro Bowl, Pork Bowl, Quezzadilla
Head of Quality Control, Chef Mo, outlines the system and philosophy: “Proper food sourcing, agricultural partnerships, and quality control systems are imperative to our kitchen operations. The food must always look good, and make people feel good as well.
Nanakos says that it’s as much about the heart as it is the head. “Food is a passion business. Embracing our chefs by creating the best possible environment for them determines the outcome of the food. Our chefs are the backbone to our business. When they are happy, they thrive.”
Get ready, Austin—you're about to turn pink
With the boost from Gigafund, ZIKI's goal is to quickly have the largest restaurant presence in all of Austin, before expanding to other cities.
"Austin's love of food, culture, and tech are what add to its vibrancy," says ZIKI’s Head of Marketing, Kat Vasylyshyn. "We're painting the city pink."
ZIKI is a member of the largest commercial kitchen in Texas. This serves as their central point of logistics for local restaurant operations. Food inventory arrives here from suppliers. It's prepared on-site, ensuring the highest quality, with an added level of safety and control.
A fleet of Sprinter vans brings the food to modular kitchens for final prep.
ZIKI's systems identify areas with the highest order volume densities and target those areas for placement of new kitchens.
Getting big fast: Why ZIKI is the Tesla of restaurants
CEO Nick Nanakos is not afraid to state his bold plan: "Our vision is to become the fastest-growing restaurant company on the planet, with unstoppable unit economics."
That doesn't just happen on its own. ZIKI's Chief of Staff, Anthony D'Apolito III, says the Gigafund backing is the green light for a fast start: "We've spent an enormous amount of time building systems prior to our funding, which has positioned us well for scale, and that's showing now in how quickly we're moving."
ZIKI believes that a restaurant should control its own expansion destiny. This is why they're vertically-integrated, manufacturing modular restaurants in the company's Texas factory.
Cutting-edge developments in manufacturing, technology, real estate, and hiring complete the picture.
ZIKI is a company led by a driven, visionary founder that's ready to conquer the world, starting by making you happy with their Greek/Mexican fusion fare, right here in Austin.