Music Week Columbus was hatched in a stuffy van en route to Austin's massive South by Southwest (SXSW) conference. With most major cities hosting a music festival or conference nowadays, Columbus music go-getters Jacob Wooten (Kobo, Trauma, etc.) and Andrew Dodson (Central City Recording, Wonderland, etc.) began to discuss how such an event should look here.

Music Week Columbus was hatched in a stuffy van en route to Austin's massive South by Southwest (SXSW) conference. With most major cities hosting a music festival or conference nowadays, Columbus music go-getters Jacob Wooten (Kobo, Trauma, etc.) and Andrew Dodson (Central City Recording, Wonderland, etc.) began to discuss how such an event should look here.

After four days of concerts, panels, trade shows and all of the attendant riffraff in Austin, they emerged with a simple conclusion.

"The stuff that we thought was super cool were the shows, and all the rest of it was kind of nonsense," Dodson said. "We thought, 'Why don't we take the best parts? Let's try to curate a bunch of really, really good shows and leave the rest out.'"

They had researched large outdoor venues for the Direct In festival - which never made it off the. They came up empty, so they opted for SXSW's showcases-in-bars approach.

Thus, next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday a trio of University District venues - Ravari Room, Kobo and Rumba Cafe - will host a strong slate of local and regional acts leading up to Independents' Day.

"A lot of the bands we're working with, most of Columbus might not have ever heard of," Wooten said. "I can vouch that the quality is there.

"The idea is to start small and have unlimited options."

Must-see bands at Music Week Columbus:

Mockingbird (Akron)

11:45 p.m. Thursday, Ravari Room

Quick sell: Crushing shoegaze metal that will go over swimmingly with fans of Baroness, Tombs and Boris.

The Sewing Machine War (Youngstown)

10:45 p.m. Thursday, Kobo

Quick sell: Atmospheric rockers patient enough to play slow, pairing the cinematic scope of post-rockers with the Walkmen's punch-drunk romantic unraveling.

Megachurch (Cleveland)

10:45 p.m. Friday, Kobo

Quick sell: Two bassists + one drummer + no vocals + a slew of hilarious/terrifying televangelist samples = fire and brimstone never sounded so good.

Fort Wilson Riot (Minneapolis)

10:45 p.m. Friday, Rumba Cafe

Quick sell: Sounds like the proverbial "happy place."

1,2,3 (Pittsburgh)

Midnight Friday, Rumba Cafe

Quick sell: Smart, sophisticated pop marked by surges of emotion and Beach Boys croons.