Rachael Ray will celebrate her 10th anniversary at South By Southwest this year with her 10th annual Feedback day party, along with a Feedback house and a new pop-up store that will be part of the festivities.
Weezer, De La Soul, Action Bronson and Margo Price will be along the 14 acts playing three stages at Stubb's BBQ on March 18. The lineup will be filled out with the Districts, Benjamin Booker, the Drums, Caitlyn Smith, Gutxi Bibang, Big Thief, Radkey and Lolo, as well as regulars Bob Schneider and the Cringe, led by Ray's husband John Cusimano. Teddy Abrams, music director of the Louisville Orchestra and Britt Orchestra, is also forming an ensemble of Austin musicians who will accompany the bands on special songs throughout the six-hour event.
Admission will again be free, and Ray will be feeding the masses this year with Tater Tot Nachos, Queso on the Cob, Panchos con Queso, Nachos con Chorizo & Queso Supreme and assorted libations.
"It's so epic to me and unbelievable," Ray tells Billboard about hitting the 10-year mark, eight of them at Stubb's, with SXSW. "I was so petrified that first year because if people only know me from the cooking shows the initial reaction would be, 'What the hell is SHE doing here?' People didn't know how much I'm into music, and how much I've loved Austin, for years. I really think of Austin as my second home. And it worked out; People came and embraced it and they keep coming and now, 10 years later, to have so many people look forward to it and see that line outside that's up to a mile long every year, it gives me chills."
Held in rain, shine and even light snow one year, Feedback's highlights over the years have included earlier career performances by Imagine Dragons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Of Monsters, the Strumbellas and Men JR JR, among others, as well as headline sets by Train, New York Dolls, Blondie, She & Him, Andrew W.K., the Civil Wars, Eagles of Death Metal, Scott Weiland, Cee-Lo Green, Wanda Jackson, Fitz and the Tantrums and Kenny Loggins. Green Day's Foxboro Hot Tubs played on Stubbs' tiny indoor stage room in 2015, and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons has made several guest appearances with the Cringe.
"It's fun to be there and be part of such a happy, well-knit community," Ray says. "It's amazing to not only be here after 10 years but it just gets better and better and I never think we can top it. Then we look at the lineup each year and say, 'Holy crap, maybe we did...'"
Ray will again be operating an invitation-only Feedback house from March 16-18, with performances by Modern English, Brent Cobb, Emily Estefan, and others. The Moxie Shop, meanwhile, is an outgrowth of the pop-ups Ray has hosted at the Hotel St. Cecilia and will be open March 13-19 on Austin's South Congress Ave., with clothing, artwork and other items curated by Ray and celebrity stylists Gretta Monahan and Cara Apotheker.
"This is a store where everything's cool -- not cheap but what I consider to be the best value of its kind," Ray says. "These are things we really believe in." Ray and company are planning free happy hours during the stay, while Cusimano will select the music that's played -- all on vinyl LPs. Ray says she's considering opening a full-time store in Austin if it goes well."
Ray will also be one of SXSW's featured speakers, talking about the 10 years of Feedback as well as her commercial and media endeavors.