If you're brave enough to take on the Interstate 35 traffic that becomes unbearable this time of year, the annual South By Southwest Conference and Festival in Austin is a good way to spend your free time this week.

Zac Wilkerson, a Killeen-based singer-songwriter, will perform on Friday at the Saxon Pub, 1320 S. Lamar Blvd. His music is self-described as a soulful blend of Americana, soul, country and rock. That show will begin at 10 p.m.

Leon O’Neal, a former Killeen resident who now claims Austin as home, will perform three DJ sets throughout the week. The first will be tonight at Ironwood Hall, 505 E. 7th St., from 8:20 to 8:40 p.m. The next will be Thursday at noon, at Barcelona, 209 E 6th St. The last will be Saturday at Bungalow, at 92 Rainey St. That will begin at 10:40 p.m.

Eimaral Sol is an R&B artist from Killeen, who describes her music as similar to Erykah Badu, Jhene Aiko, Alina Baraz and Jorja Smith. She'll perform at the Sheraton Backyard, 702 E. 10th St. That show begins at 8:40 p.m. Saturday.

Killeen-based gospel/hip-hop artist Calvin Hooper — who goes by the stage name Calvin Martyr — will perform at the Church of Christ, 1903 University Ave. His set begins at 9:20 p.m. on Saturday. (Note: Hooper is a former employee of the Killeen Daily Herald).

Killeen residents have had a recent history of making headlines for the wrong reasons during the festival. In 2014, Killeen resident Rashad Charjuan Owens, an aspiring rapper, drove his Honda Civic into a crowd of people in an attempt to evade from police. He killed four people — three from Texas and a man visiting from the Netherlands — and injured 23 more. He was scheduled to perform a show later that night.

Owens was driving the wrong way down a one-way street, and had a blood alcohol content of .114. Owens told police that he was afraid of being arrested for outstanding warrants surrounding a child custody case. He was later sentenced to life in prison.

In 2016, Killeen resident Rondarius Spicer, 24, was arrested after he fired his gun into the air near the intersection of Sixth and Trinity streets and was arrested soon after. There were no injuries.

Spicer, a Killeen resident, was charged with a misdemeanor weapons charge, and a felony charge for deadly conduct discharge of firearm at individuals. Spicer was released from jail on bond, but later was indicted on a charge of evading arrest with a vehicle.

254-501-7552 | sullivan@kdhnews.com

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