For the 11th straight year, Rachael Ray and her team staged the Rachael Ray Feedback at Stubb’s BBQ at SXSW 2018 in Austin, offering a day of music, food and booze to fans.
But the one-day Feedback line-up wasn’t all that Ray brought to SXSW. She also hosted the more intimate, invite-only Feedback House over the course of three days, which offered a separate musical line-up.
And for the second year in a row, she held the Moxie pop-up boutique, showcasing fashions hand selected by herself and stylists Gretta Monahan and Cara Apotheker. The pop-up was housed in a vintage Airstream trailer, and featured brands such as Aisle Ate, Chase, Mother Denim, Squash Blossom Vintage, Milk Makeup, Ellis Brooklyn, Pattie Yankee and more.
The Feedback event, which is free to the public and doesn’t require a SXSW badge to get in, is so popular that fans started lining up outside Stubb’s at 1:30 am.
Across the three days (March 15-17), the two venues featured 32 different musical artists, including Dr. Pepper’s Jaded Hearts Club Band (featuring Muse lead singer Matt Bellamy as well as members of Nine Inch Nails, The Zutons, Jet, Last Shadow Puppets, and more), Salt-N-Pepa, Girl Talk, Kurt Vile, Waxahatchee, Kevin Morby, Albert Hammond Jr, Hinds, Erika Wennerstrom (of Heartless Bastards), The Cringe, Bob Schneider, Ron Gallo, Caroline Rose, and Lucy Dacus.
Over the 11 years of the event’s history, such artists have performed as Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Macklemore, Fitz and the Tantrums, Imagine Dragons and many more.
Inside Stubb’s is a giant courtyard that hosts two outdoor stages, while quieter performers appear indoors. Acts went on all day, alternating spaces.
While all three of the events are branded to Rachael Ray and outside sponsors are involved, it’s mostly intended as a giant party and gift of good will to the fans.
“This is free and open to the public. We offer free music, free booze, free food and there are people who drive in from hundreds of miles away, people who love the music, love the food and love what she’s doing,” said Andrew Kaplan, vice president of culinary operations for Rachael Ray.
Five brands participated in the event this year, including Modelo beer, King’s Hawaiian, Hebrew National hot dogs, Spirit Airlines, Deep Eddy vodka and Rachael Ray Nutrish pet food.
“Ideally, we want these to be brands and products we believe in that we would drink or eat or use ourselves,” said Kaplan.
This year, the digital team from The Rachael Ray Show came to Austin to collect content they could then showcase on show’s website for the first time.
Staying true to her food-based brand, Ray curates four recipes to share with the crowd. This year’s menu included frank n’ “refried” beans hot dogs with roasted tomato salsa and pickled jalapeños, pimento cheese dogs with corn chip dust, lil’ veg-head corn dogs with tomatillo gazpacho shooters, and serious three-meat sloppy joes. People also could enjoy Modelo beer, drinks made with Deep Eddy vodka and many other beverages from bars located around the venue.
[Images courtesy of Rachael Ray/Charles Reagan Hackleman, Sydney Gawlik]