Houston Gets Super Happy, Welcomes Annual SXSW Overflow Fest

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Remember a two-week pass for SXSW Overflow fest is $12 Friday only in our "Deal of the Day."

Depending on the fuel efficiency of your car, the 160-mile road trip to Austin has the ability to throw a serious wet blank over your SXSW fundage.

Three and half dollar gas has left most of the city feeling the blues, but it hasn't, mind you, killed the springtime itch for festival season's kick off.

And because, if Rocks Off suspects correctly, a great number of spring breaker's will be stuck in the H jonesin' for live music, Super Happy Fun Land owner Brian Arthur will proudly play host to the eighth Annual SXSW Overflow Festival, kicking off tonight at 9 p.m.

"Every year, thousands of band go into Austin from all over the country," Arthur tells Rocks Off. "And all those bands want to play nearby cities, and don't want to just do their one gig and leave."

"Around this time we get inundated with show requests from these guys, so instead of just picking a couple of bands, we've made a festival," he adds.

The lineup, as has been the case in past years, is remarkably diverse.

Over the next three weeks, SHFL's overflow fest will welcome over 80 bands from 20 different states, as well as international artists from Sweden, the UK and Chile.

"We do up to 10 bands a day...and a lot them are looking for shows anywhere," says Arthur. "These guys don't want dead nights, and because there is such competition for shows, a lot of them take advantage of our open booking policy."

While the clear marketing advantages for artists are still in Austin during SXSW's two-week run, Arthur has made sure that the trek to Houston is well worth the while for bands on the prowl for gigs.

"We feed these guys, we give them a place to crash," Arthur adds. "It's just a really cool place where bands can relax and hang out, and take a breather from the SXSW environment, which can be crazy-madhouse if you're there too long."

And, for those on a budget, a full two-week festival pass sits at $24 (except today), and will earn you access to over 80 shows, a few festival t-shirts and, as SHFL's website excitedly notes, "FREE FOOD!"

The action, which is subject to occasional changes, kicks off at 9 p.m. with Brooklyn rockers LES Racquet, and follows with the Korean pop-rock outfit Galaxy Express.

"We've really got an amazing line up," Arthur says, "and if people don't support touring bands, then most likely they're not coming back."

"This is when we've got to showcase our city, and make Houston known as an inviting environment for traveling bands."

Tickets for the SXSW Overflow Festival are available through Super Happy Fun Land's Web site, as well as in person at the venue, located at 3801 Polk Street.

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

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