Americana: South by Southwest

 

First, there was a trade conference in Austin. A music festival grew out of it. Then a film festival, then an interactive technology festival. Any more, and Austin won't be able to handle it alone. Uploaded by johnrogers.com.

First, there was a music industry trade show in Austin. (It’s grown from about 700 to near 12,000 registrants.) Then, a bunch of bands got the idea that this would be a good place to come and showcase their music. (Now almost 2,000 bands perform on 80 stages across downtown Austin.)

Uploaded by tdlind.com.

The organizers then thought, why limit this synergy to music? Why not include film and interactive technology? So in 1994 the festival became the festivals, and now independent film and emerging technologies also are showcased at SXSW.

Of course, as with any festival, there are parties…and food galore…and long lines. There’s media coverage, excessive iPhone use, and nonstop Twittering. But to those who love music and movies, and the professionals in those businesses, South by Southwest is one of the circled events on their calendar. By the way, if you want to circle it on yours, SXSW is celebrating its 25th anniversary this coming March: Interactive (11th-15th), Film (11th-19th), and Music (16th-20th).

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