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SXSW opens bigger and better

SXSW panel
SXSW panel

The South by Southwest Festival takes places March 7th to March 18th, and is a grouping of film, music and interactive activities that began in 1987 and has continued to grow each year. The first South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW) was held in 1987 in Austin, Texas. Despite the fact that Austin was not a Top 20 major market at the time, the background and character of the city made it a perfect location for the conference. Austin was considered a fairly cosmopolitan town for its size because of the University of Texas, which draws people from all over the world.

Austin musicians faced a problem because they were isolated from the rest of the country being in the middle of Texas. SXSW proved to be success with the ability to reach out to the rest of the country and the world.

The interest in SXSW was successful in the U.S. because music producers on both coasts to see what Austin had to offer. With music ranging from classic country, blues, pop and punk Austin proved to be a welcoming environment for musicians. The music proved to draw a crowd that may never have thought of Austin as a great music city.

According to SXSW, the SXSW music event has grown from 700 registrants in 1987 to over 25,000 participants in 2013. Austin continued to grow and soon film companies followed. In 1994 SXSW added both a film and interactive conference to accommodate the ever growing festival. The SXSW Film and the SXSW Interactive now attracts approximately 47,000 participants every March.

The goals of SXSW was to create a festival that would be an outlet for creative people and companies that work alongside of them to enable to work on their careers. Organizers continue today to bring music, film and interactive technology to the festival that only continues to grow.

The festival opens Friday March 7th and continues until March 16th, 2014. The lineup of activities go from music sessions, to trade show viewing and film. There are parties, receptions, question and answer sessions. For example, on the first day of the event you can attend a listening reception, or a lesson on branding and followed up by with a session of the Golden Age of Television. Bands on board include Coldplay, Imagine Dragons and London Grammar. Speakers include authors who will be book signing such as Toby Barlow, Bob Gruen, and Amy Webb. The festival sells badges which can be obtained through the website ( which can include the ability to attend most functions at the festival or day passes for guests. --