Austin is one of the most happening cities in Texas, and it seems like there is always something going on in the city. Unfortunately many of the Austin events that happen are known only to those who live in the city, or to those who visit the city frequently. But there is one thing that happens in Austin that many people hear of, even those who do not visit Austin very often. It brings a huge influx of people into Austin and is one of the premiere reasons that many musicians visit the city. SXSW.
SXSW stands for South by Southwest. It is a set of interactive, music, and film festivals, and conferences. These take place every spring in Austin and have since 1987. There are three different parts of SXSW – one for music, one for film, and one for the interactive conferences. Each part runs independently and has different start and end dates.
Since its start, SXSW has become one of the largest music festivals in the United States. It has over 2,000 performers who play in over 90 venues all over the downtown Austin area. And this all takes place in just four days in March! It is known as the highest revenue event for the Austin economy and has brought in millions upon millions of dollars. In 1994 the creators added the film and interactive conferences, and now it is on its way to becoming one of the premiere film festivals in the nation, due to focusing on new directing talent. The interactive conferences are designed for web creators and entrepreneurs and puts a spotlight on emerging technology. In fact one of the most well-known and recent social media applications, Twitter, actually launched at the SXSW interactive conference in 2007!
So how can you enjoy SXSW? If you’re new to the city, and just visiting for SXSW, one thing that you may want to keep in mind is that there will be many people who are also visiting the city at the same time. In order to truly make the most of the city, it is a good idea to get there a day early, or to plan on leaving a day after what you’ve come for is all over. This will give you a bit of time to familiarize yourself with the city and to see some of the other amazing things that Austin has to offer.
If you’re a native of the city, make sure you know what’s going on and where it’s going on. Keep a schedule with you of the events and plan out your parking, so that you don’t have to worry about getting into the middle of the city and having to pay outrageous prices to park your vehicle. Or, better yet, book a hotel room for yourself for the weekend – this will give you easy access to everything that is going on and will be almost like a mini-vacation as well!