SxSW KICKS OFF

Franz Ferdinand, Von Bondies and Little Richard set to shine...

Austin’s 11th annual South by South West music conference kicked off on Thursday (March 18) with the Texan city being invaded by an estimated 20,000 visitors.

British bands including Franz Ferdinand, The Cooper Temple Clause, Athlete, The Futureheads and Thirteen Senses are all appearing over the course of the four-day weekend.

Festival keynote speaker Little Richard kicked things off, delighting fans with a run-through a set of classics, while The Von Bondies and LA hardcore punk act The Bronx were both capacity draws.

The only sour note came after a gig by Latino rockers Ozomatli ended in a near-riot when the crowd spilled onto the streets outside the venue. Witnesses claim that police used pepper spray on the audience to disperse them.