Chicago Made @ SXSW 521 words · 3 minute read

Last month, the City of Chicago made a splash with its official debut at South By Southwest’s annual Music, Interactive & Film Conference in Austin, Texas. “Chicago Made,” presented by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Choose Chicago, along with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), World Business Chicago (WBC), and the Illinois Office of Tourism, showcased Chicago’s rich talent in the music, tech and film industries with the goal of showing the world that Chicago is a city where new businesses and talent can thrive.

The city’s presence at SXSW included a booth at the SXSW trade show, a private VIP reception for global business leaders, and an official SXSW Chicago music showcase featuring Chicago natives Chance the Rapper, Hood Internet, Autumn Defence, among others.

Chicago Made is part of Mayor Emanuel’s initiative to make Chicago a “hub for the intersection of art and tech.” Crain’s Chicago Business says that “Music Dealers is Exhibit A for the Mayor’s vision” and we couldn’t be more proud.

[VIDEO] Crain's Chicago Business Asks, Can Chicago Lead In Music Tech?

Crain’s video interviews Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CEO Eric Scheinkop (see photo below) about the goal of making Chicago a hub for the intersection of tech and art.

Music Dealers’ CEO, Eric Sheinkop, was one of the hosts of the VIP Reception and business owners selected to represent at the city’s trade show booth along with Music Dealers’ Chairman, Howard Tullman. Eric, thrilled to see the city’s efforts, said, “It’s nice to know that the city is focusing on not only attracting new businesses to come to Chicago but actually working hard to keep current companies based here.” A native of Chicago and purveyor of the arts, he has acknowledged that it’s a shame that so much of Chicago’s talent has always been forced to leave Chicago in order to make it big.

One will find these words emblazoned on Chicago Made’s landing page:

“Kanye’s first gig didn’t sell out the United Center. Groupon wasn’t worth billions the day it was founded. Ferris Bueller wasn’t always the world’s most famous truant. From humble beginningsit’s how every great story starts in Chicago. The ground floor may be where we get on, but we don’t stay there long. What’s born in a garage, on a workbench, or with a camera phone ends up bigger than life. Chicago is where greatness is made.”

We couldn’t agree more. Those statements represent Music Dealers at its core; they represent who we are and what we are all about. It is efforts like Chicago Made, and the special thought and attention from DCASE that will allow Chicago to shine in music, tech, and art, once again.

Music Dealers will do whatever we can to support these initiatives and considering the fact that we represent nearly 1,000 independent artists in our catalog that are based in Chicago, this means great things for these incredibly talented artists. We’re proud to have been a part of Chicago Made at SXSW, and we’re looking forward to seeing more initiatives like this develop on a local and global scale.


By: Lyndsey Ager, Music Dealers