SXSW Festival, also known as the South by Southwest, is run by the SXSW company and it is one of the most notable festivals to take place in Austin, Texas on a yearly basis. SXSW is a set of interactive, music and film festivals, and it also includes a series of exhibitions featuring the work of various local artists. The festival takes place each year in March, and it has been around for almost three decades – with every year, SXSW has become larger and larger.
The Film festival tends to be the longest one (up to 8-9 days), followed by the Music festival that typically lasts for about a week and the SXSW Interactive, for 4-5 more days. The three festivals run concurrently, and the SXSW Festival is considered the most important one for the Austin economy, as it is estimated to produce more than $200 million each year.
Besides the Music, Film and Interactive festivals, the SXSW also features three conferences on environmental topics, educational innovation as well as on innovative startups. The festival attracts tens of thousands of attendees on a yearly basis, and the 2015 edition is set to take place between 13-22 March.
A Deeper Insight Into The SXSW Festival
The Music and Film festivals are undoubtedly the most appreciated ones, and the SXSW Music Festival is widely regarded as the largest one of its kind, in the world. As a matter of fact, the Music Festival features more than two thousand official performers and bands, playing in over 100 designated venues. The number of registrants has sky-tocketed since the first festival back in 1987, and the SXSW Music Festival has been growing steadily over the past few years.
Besides the fact that all music performers who attend the SXSW Music Festival enjoy great visibility throughout the show, they are also offered a cash payment along with a wristband package that offers them full access to all music events throughout the festival.
In addition to the Music Festival, the SXSW Film Festival is very sought-after as well, mainly because it is focused on new directing talent, thus attracting hundreds of photography and videography aficionados each year. The Interactive Festival, on the other hand, focuses primarily on emerging technology: throughout the festival, technology fans will get a deeper insight into the latest gadgets, and they also get to share their own ideas and creative technologies, if any.
Having said that, the Interactive Festival is not only very entertaining, but it can also serve as a launching pad for inventors and amateur technology developers to present their innovations. The SXSW Interactive Festival also features parties, trade shows as well as a startup accelerator for new entrepreneurs who are hoping to make it big in the business industry. The SXSW Interactive is considered one of the biggest technology-oriented festivals of its kind in the world.
As mentioned above, several notable exhibitions also take place throughout the Festival, and they represent a great way for the emerging artists to showcase their work and to make a name and a reputation for itself. In addition to Flatstock and the Trade Show, there is also a Gaming Exposition, a Music Gear Exposition where artists and music fans can invest in state of the art music equipment (portable bluetooth speakers, drum kits, guitars, high-end microphones, stereo surround systems and such), the SX Health And MedTech Expo for those who want to stay fit and healthy, the SX Create Expo as well as the Job Market that connects recruiters with applicants. Thousands of attendees manage to pursue lucrative careers in their favorite field of work through the SXSW Festival’s Job Market.
A Brief History Of The SXSW Festival
The first edition of the SXSW Festival was held back in 1987, back when Austin was already widely considered as one of Texas’ most cosmopolitan and futuristic cities. Austin was already a very popular city, as it was an important cultural, educational, financial and touristic center, thus meeting all the “basic requirements” for hosting what would become one of the world’s most famous festivals. Having said that, SXSW aimed to attract even more people to Austin, it aimed to reach out to the rest of the world and to attract not only entrepreneurs, artists or movie makers from other states, but also from other countries from Europe and Asia.
The first edition of the festival was a total success, and so were the following ones – this has made the SXSW Festival become widely known all over the globe, especially amongst reputable music industry executives and other professionals who saw this festival as a great way to recruit new talents.
Slowly but surely, the festival became increasingly popular across Europe as well – the company that organizes the event has managed to expand its boundaries and to broaden its horizons so much because of this festival, that it now has offices in Japan, Australia, Germany as well as Ireland. SXSW aimed to open new offices in other locations withy the purpose of bringing new registrants to the festival, and to take the popularity of SXSW a mile further.
The organizers and the registrants were not the only ones to benefit from the positive publicity provided by the SXSW Festival – the city of Austin as well as the surrounding areas have also enjoyed more visibility, and a much better economy. Film companies and high-tech companies also managed to diversify their products and services, to increase their revenues and to expand their target market with the help of this festival, and statistically speaking the SWSX Film and Interactive events alone gather more than 30,000 registrants, each March.
That being said, although the festival has changed and evolved tremendously over the years, the primary mission has remained the same: the SXSW Festival serves as a tool for creative and innovative people to make their voices heard, as well as for companies to recruit new talents. The Festival aims to connect people who share the same views and ideas: it has been doing it for almost three decades, and it will not stop anytime soon!