An annual event in Austin, Texas, South by Southwest (SXSW) is a 10-day music/film/technology festival and trade show. Started in 1987 as a music festival — which today showcases hundreds of artists over 100 stages — a film component was added in 1994, and an emerging technologies section in 2007. While really three separate festivals, they all overlap throughout creating one mega event. In fact, each year SXSW seems to add something new to the lineup, such as the SXSW Startup Village in 2012. The addition brings together startups, entrepreneurs and investors through panels, meetups, pitch events and mentoring sessions.
Along with an array of learning and networking events, visitors will enjoy parties, gourmet food trailers and tastings of local beers. If you’re interested in attending this fun-filled event for yourself, it will take place this year on March 8-17, 201, with the Interactive (emerging technologies) focus being from March 8-12, the film portion being from March 8-16 and the music portion being from March 12-17.
So, with such a jam-packed lineup of events, what should you lookout for? In terms of music, the sound is eclectic with bands from all over the world, like Absynthe Minded from Belgium, Bearhug from Australia, Kao=S from Japan, Rona Kenan from Israel and Petite Noir from the Congo.
Additionally, Dave Grohl will be this year’s music keynote speaker. Don’t forget to check out the instruments and accessories at the Music Gear Expo, talk sessions with inspirational musicians at the SXSW Music and Media Conference and standup comedy acts — now open to all badge holders.
For films, take in a variety of innovative movies done as animated shorts, narrative, documentaries, visions and more, as well as the new Come & Capture Film Factory, featuring panel discussions, demos and workshops where people can learn about new film-making technologies. Additionally, the Interactive focus will feature sessions like “Breaking the Mold with Meaningful Design,” “Go Fund Yourself,” “Mapping Out the Future of Photography” and “Why Tiny Habits Give Big Results.”
Additionally, the SXSW Startup Village is worthwhile for networking, while the SXSW Block Party makes visiting trade show booths more fun. Gamers in particular will love SXSW Gaming, which combines gaming and pop culture through tournaments, demos, workshops and panels.
To register for this year’s South by Southwest Festival, click here.