Austin’s South by Southwest music festival wraps up today, but every year there are “secret” shows by top artists in relatively modest venues, frequently revealed only to the media at the last minute.
But some are more secret than others. A truly secret show is one that 99.8 percent of festival-goers only find out about after it happens. (“Oh my god, did you hear that Jack White joined Dave Grohl for a jam session in a South Lamar tanning salon at 4 a.m. last night? It was amazing!”)
For its supposedly secret Justin Timberlake show, however, sponsor Myspace set a new bar in non-secret obviousness.
The story started off perfectly. The media first got wind of the Justin Timberlake show when the Austin Police Department, of all places, leaked it. That has just the right kind of odd and non-official yet authoritative sourcing that you want for a secret show. (And hey, APD, if you can tell me what time Oz: The Great and Powerful is starting tonight at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, that would be great, too.)
But then once SXSW got underway, there was this on the side of an 800-capacity music venue on a heavily trafficked downtown intersection: