Live and Local: After hiatus, San Antonio Music Showcase is returning June 22

This year’s roster of more than 100 local acts is the biggest in the festival’s history.

click to enlarge A performance takes place on the St. Mary's Strip during the 2019 San Antonio Music Showcase. This year's event will also include venues in St. Paul Square. - Oscar Moreno
Oscar Moreno
A performance takes place on the St. Mary's Strip during the 2019 San Antonio Music Showcase. This year's event will also include venues in St. Paul Square.
The Current's San Antonio Music Showcase is returning this summer after a five-year hiatus — and this year’s roster of more than 100 local acts is the biggest in the festival’s history.

Scheduled for Saturday, June 22, the 2024 San Antonio Music Showcase will present stacked musical bills at 19 venues spread between two of the city’s hottest nightlife destinations, St. Paul Square and the St. Mary’s Strip. Shuttles, party buses and pedicabs — all free to festival attendees — will run between the two areas so fans can easily jump between performances.

As with previous years, San Antonio Music Showcase’s roster will span genres, from hip-hop and rock to Latin and Americana, just to name a few. Attendees will be able to take in sets by performers as varied as Piñata Protest, Deer Vibes, The Texases, Chavela and Alyson Alonzo.

The tickets, which are available online and start as low as $15, include admission to all participating venues.

“It was never our intention to take a five-year hiatus,” said Michael Wagner, the founder and promoter of San Antonio Music Showcase. “We had the pandemic and the St Mary’s Strip’s seemingly eternal construction debacle, which made the showcase logistically impossible for attendees to bounce around from venue to venue.”

He added: “This year, in addition to activating the Strip, we wanted to expand the footprint to include the developing St. Paul district, including The Espee. All together, with the Strip and St. Paul Square and 100 acts, this will be the largest SA Music Showcase.”

For Noah Slavin, one of two talent bookers for this year’s Music Showcase, the event is a chance to build bridges. The large and varied bill is designed to forge new bonds between fans and musicians, acts of different genres and generations of live music enthusiasts.

Strengthening those bonds helps local acts find wider audiences while cementing San Antonio’s reputation as a city that appreciates and supports live music, said Slavin, who also presented last year’s Winter Vibes music fest at St. Paul Square.

“Events like this are crucial to helping put San Antonio on the map as a music city,” he said.

Rob Mochen, the Music Showcase’s other booker, said the event’s genre-spanning bill is a way to ensure fans step outside their comfort zones. By jumping between venues and genres, attendees get to sample music they might otherwise have overlooked.

“I’m an advocate for blending genres with shows,” said Mochen, a longtime booking agent who also owns Codafin Touring. “San Antonio is a place of diversity, and I think we’re celebrating that by letting people be exposed to something new.”

General admission tickets for the San Antonio Music Showcase are on sale now. A limited number of VIP tickets will include admission to all participating venues plus access to a VIP Lounge in St. Paul Square, along with dedicated cocktail and beer bars in the lounge and curated food items from nearby restaurants.

In addition to music, food and drink, attendees can expect to experience photo booths, vendors, games, giveaways and more. Those attractions will be sprinkled throughout both the St. Mary’s Strip and St. Paul Square.

Music times will vary by venue with the earliest band going on at 2 p.m. and the latest performing until 2 a.m. Admission ages vary per venue, with some admitting music fans 18 and older and others enforcing 21-and-up policies.

Slavin and Mochen both recommended that music lovers take advantage of the Music Showcase’s transportation between the Strip and St. Paul Square, which are located less than two miles apart.

Moving between those two entertainment epicenters will give festivalgoers the ultimate experience, they said. The wider the attendees’ sampling of great local music, the more likely they are to find a new favorite band, performer or DJ, according to Slavin.

“I recommend people try to see as many bands as they can — just shotgun venues,” Slavin said. “I guarantee you will find something new and something you’ll love. Something that you’ve never heard before.”

Part of the fun also lies in discovering unfamiliar acts that are already blazing paths to national or international recognition, according to Mochen. To be sure, some of this year’s participating performers are already finding an audience far wider than the Alamo City.

“There are some really great bands that we’re showcasing,” Mochen said. “I’m not sure how much longer we’ll be able to afford some of them.”

Showcase founder Wagner said he wants the event to offer an experience that captures the dynamism of the city’s music scene.

“We hope we succeed in showcasing the full depth and breadth of the local music talent in San Antonio, representing all flavors.”

$15 (general admission) and $100 (VIP), 2 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, June 22, Multiple Venues,

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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