airport music

Austin Bergstrom Int’l Airport celebrates SXSW

The annual music, film and interactive conference known as South by Southwest – SXSW – is underway in Austin and it’s so cool that the festivities begin the moment you get off the plane at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

During a ‘normal’ week, the airport offers 23 live music performances at six different venues in the airport. This week the shows include several special showcase events for SXSW.

On Tuesday, March 11, the Warren Hood Bad (Jazz/Blues/Newsgrass) will play from 1 to 3 pm

And the Lost & Nameless Orchestra, which plays “fiddle-driven folk rock, will entertain travelers from 3:30 to 5:30 pm.

Lost and nameless

Then on Monday, March 17, when many festival-goers are going home, the Jitterbug Vipers (“swingadelic) will perform from 1  to 3 pm –

and Mingo Fishtrap (soul and funk) will be on duty from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Want more music? Of course you do! Here’s a link to find out more about the live music schedule at AUS airport.

Singing the praises of Sea-Tac Airport’s Music Program


Seattle-Tacoma International is not only one of my favorite airports, it’s my home-base airport.

And so I’m delighted that the airport has received a Future Travel Experience Award for its music program, which welcomes travelers with live music performances, exhibits about local music history and a music soundtrack of Northwest artists from the likes of Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, The Ventures and Perl Jam that is played overhead, on video monitors and on a web radio player that can be accessed in the airport and on-line anywhere. Many of the public safety announcements travelers hear in the airport are also now voiced by Northwest musicians. (Here’s Macklemore and Quincy Jones.)

SEA Hendrix Display

Jimi Hendrix exhibit at Sea-Tac Airport

SEA Hendrix Display

Jimi Hendrix exhibit at SeaTac airport.

The music program at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) just keeps getting better.

In addition to live music performances in the terminal and a robust service featuring the music of Northwest artists such as The Ventures, Nirvana, Soundgarden, The Posies, Quincy Jones and Heart in overhead music, videos, safety and public information announcements and on a multi-channel web radio player accessible in the airport and on-line, the airport now has an exhibit about one of Seattle’s most iconic musicians: Jimi Hendrix.

The exhibit – Jimi Hendrix: West Coast Seattle Boy – comes courtesy of the EMP Museum (which has loads more Jimi Hendrix material on display) and includes reproductions of family pictures, rare concert photos, posters and illustrations hand-drawn by Hendrix. Look for the Hendrix exhibit by Gate A1.

Jazz in the Atrium series underway at ATL airport

The 36th annual Atlanta Jazz Festival kicks takes place Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27, but before that happens, the 12th annual Jazz in the Atrium series will be giving travelers a preview in the domestic terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.


The Moonlight Jazz Trio will perform at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport during the Jazz in the Atrium series.

The two-week program kicked off Monday night and features performances by local artists from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. each weekday through May 24.

Here’s the line-up:

May 14: Moonlight Jazz Trio

May 15: Tony Waters

May 16: Marlon Patton Trio

May 17: The Sparrow Trio

May 20:CC Booker

May 21: Trey Wright Trio

May 22: Gary Harris

May 23: Charles Marshall, The Jazz Ambassador

May 24: Life Force

Secrets of Sea-Tac International Airport


Seattle Met recently put together an Insider’s Guide to one-flight vacations from Seattle. All those adventures begin (and end) at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), and I was honored to be asked to put together a list of Sea-Tac Airport secrets.

Here they are:

1. Hidden Art
Sea-Tac’s museum-worthy contemporary art collection includes works by Louise Nevelson, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Stella, not to mention regional hotshots like Trimpin, whose multimedia kinetic sculpture On Monkeys, Matter and the King is on Concourse A. There’s art everywhere, including the baggage claim area and in some restrooms—download a tour map here .

2. Tune In & Turn Off
Wi-Fi is free throughout the airport and the Quiet Zone (Concourse B, Gate 4) has powered seats, but no TV noises or overhead announcements. There are (usually) more than a dozen rocking chairs by the giant window in the Central Terminal and a meditation room on the mezzanine level above Checkpoint 3.

3. Food Forever
Anthony’s Restaurant (Central Terminal) is the highest grossing sit-down restaurant at any U.S. airport. All airport food venues, including Ivar’s Seafood Bar, are open for breakfast.

4. Shopping Sells
While Sleepless in Seattle sleepwear is still a top seller at Sea-Tac, sexy is gaining: in 2012 more than 20,000 copies of the erotic page-turner 50 Shades of Grey—also set in our fair gray city—were sold at Sea-Tac. And because of the airport’s “street pricing” policy, all food and retail prices match those at the same vendors in town.

5. Lost is Found
Last year the Sea-Tac Lost and Found department logged 30,000 items, including 1,105 laptops and 1,220 cellphones—and 40 percent of them were returned to owners. After 30 days, unclaimed items are donated to charity, so if you lose something, hightail it to the mezzanine level of the Main Terminal or file a lost item report immediately.

6. Burn Before Boarding
Work out while you wait: It’s a half-mile from the Central Terminal to the end of Concourse A. Walk the full length of Concourses A, B, C, and D and you’ll have traveled over two miles.

7. Kids Play Free
There’s an aviation-themed play area at the Concourse B entrance; nearby, kids can search for bronze fish in the terrazzo “stream” that meanders along the Concourse B floor. Talking fountains (well, they play a recorded gurgle) are in Concourses B, C, and D.

8. Fly with Fido
Dogs find relief at either end of the Main Terminal; the south pet area is outside and park-like, with a yellow painted steel sculpture by Robert Maki at its center. There’s also an indoor pet area with artificial grass and a red fire hydrant post-security, near the Concourse C entrance.

9. No Sleep Till Takeoff
Most restaurant concessions open by 5 am, but 24-hour options include the pre-security Starbucks in the Main Terminal, the post-security Starbucks kiosk in the Central Terminal, Alki Bakery in baggage claim and, in the Central Terminal, Qdoba and Dilettante Chocolate.

10. Local Beats
That’s Macklemore, Sir Mix-a-Lot, and other local musicians voicing the safety and public service messages on the airport’s overhead announcements. Regional music is also played overhead and on screens throughout Sea-Tac; tune into the airport’s recently upgraded multichannel web player via the Wi-Fi landing page or here. A live music program is rumored to roll out later in March.

11. Fix Everything
If something’s wrong, Ken’s Baggage and Frozen Food Storage (in baggage claim, between carousels 12 and 13) can likely help. The bouquet of services includes stroller and infant car-seat rentals, a notary, copy services, packaging material and pet kennel sales, and tool rentals to jump a car battery or open a locked car door.