South By Southwest, or SXSW, is a ten-day festival held in Austin Texas focusing on music, film, and interactive technologies. The festival has happened annually since 1987, and today the event draws tens of thousands of people, and over 2,300 official music performers! With that many musicians, nearly every genre is represented, with a significant representation of jazz, blues, folk, country, and rock. South By Southwest is a fantastic place for both creators, and appreciators of the media arts.
In 2014 the music section of SXSW had 2,300 performers, as I already said, which is spread across more than a hundred venues in downtown Austin. There’s more to South By Southwest’s music section than just listening to music, though. The conference portion has tons of great talks for creators about branding, convergence, music streaming, licensing, touring, and much much more. Each year brings a new keynote speaker, with speakers in past years including Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Quincy Jones, and Lady Gaga. All this just scratches the surface what goes on at SXSW Music. If you want to know more, click here.
The film segment of SXSW is delightfully broad, with great panels, workshops in acting and cinematography, mentoring sessions, and of course some great speeches. Film screening is of course also a large part of the festival, with tons of films shown, as well as presentation of the SXSW Film Awards! More here.
The Interactive festival has more than 600 sessions on every aspect of emerging technologies, from startups & business strategies, to design & development, entertainment, gaming, biotechnology, as well as a variety of trade shows and workshops. To learn more about SXSW Interactive, click here.
Check out the trade shows. Seriously. They’re awesome.
SXSW isn’t cheap, with admission coming in between $500 and $1800 (2015 prices), depending on when you register, and what you’re coming for. Full pricing here: sxsw.com/attend
See the full festival schedule here: http://sxsw.com/schedule
For similar festivals around the world, check out this list.