Lame to cool? Tech execs bring major music festival Botánica to San Antonio

No Comments 29 September 2017

Lame to cool? Tech execs bring major music festival Botánica to San Antonio

By: Samantha Ehlinger

San Antonio has never quite had the same stature, swagger or hipness of its northern neighbor Austin, but local technology executives Graham Weston and Lew Moorman are hoping a new two-day music festival can change that.

The former Rackspace Hosting executives are the lead financiers of the inaugural Botánica Music & Arts Festival on March 3 and 4, the week before Austin’s South by Southwest music, film and technology festival kicks off. The lineup, which includes a mix of pop, EDM, hip hop and rock artists, is as much a cultural event for the city as it is an opportunity for San Antonio to rebrand itself as cool and hip — something that will speak to the millennials the burgeoning tech industry wants to hire.

“Other cities have clearly benefited from large, locally owned, mainstream music fests, and our hope is that Botánica can be that kind of festival for San Antonio,” Weston said. “I know firsthand from my years at Rackspace that our city is in a tough battle for young talent.”

The early lineup — Major Lazer, Logic, Deftones and Alessia Cara — has all the makings of a South Texas Lollapalooza, according to a press release announcing the event Wednesday. Weston and Moorman are part of the investor group that’s formed a new local live event company that will own and produce the show, which hopes to sign 40 or so musical acts for the two days.
People in their 20s “often decide where to locate based on lifestyle choices, and shared music experiences can be a big part of that,” Weston said.

Investors are hoping that the diverse lineup and locally-owned and operated festival, to be held at La Cantera in the Six Flags Fiesta Texas parking lots, will help broaden San Antonio’s appeal outside the 1604 Loop. Austin’s SXSW festival, which started in 1986 with 700 attendees, has since swelled to a crowd of 285,804 last year, according to organizers. Austin City Limits, which kicks off Oct. 6 over two weekends, pumped more than $277 million into the local economy last year, according to organizers.

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