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South By Southwest Festival in Austin Texas

Jun 28, 2008
Every year, Austin is descended upon by thousands of music, film, and web industry professionals, artists, and fans, all attending the annual South by Southwest Festival. Although it started as a local music festival, as it now enters its third decade, SXSW has become one of the premier industry conferences, and has gained a reputation for launching the careers of the artists involved.

SXSW is comprised of three components music, film and interactive, but this being Austin, the music events are among the most popular, and it has become one of the most famous music festivals in the world. Dozens of local clubs are enlisted to become dedicated SXSW venues, and local residents can participate by volunteering for tours of duty at the different venues, or at the conference. Besides the talent and the local volunteers, the attendees at the music event number over 12,000 registrants. With this many people visiting downtown Austin, SXSW always heralds an exciting, vibrant time for our fair city, and locals often find themselves dining alongside people from New York, London, Tokyo and Australia all at once.

Over the last two decades, the number of musical acts featured at the festival has grown to over 1,400, all playing during the four days of the music festival. Although impossible to see even a fraction of the offerings, many of shows are grouped with themes, featuring acts from a country such as Norway, or Japan, or featuring acts that share a label or genre. Headline acts including Morrissey, Pete Townshend, Iggy Pop, and Amy Winehouse are featured alongside up-and-comers including UGK, Blonde Redhead and The Gossip. Local acts must pass muster, but SXSW stays true to its roots by featuring a great number of the best Austin has to offer.

Austin's burgeoning film industry gets its fair share of attention at the film festival, which features panels, screenings and discussions. Focusing on independent offerings including documentaries, animation, fictional drama and comedy, the film festival hosts many world premieres. The interactive festival shows Austin at its cutting edge finest, featuring top new media and technology entrepreneurs alongside visionary artists, designers and digital creators.

One aspect of the week is the number of free, renegade concerts that take place. No need for a wristband, and often advertised only in fanzines and through word-of-mouth, many of the artists participate in these under-the-radar shows to give back to the community that helped launch them. After all, Austin is the live music capital of the world all year round, not just for SXSW!

Whether you are a local, visitor, musician, auteur or fan, SXSW week is always an exciting one in Austin. Restaurants are jumping, stores are hopping, and music can be heard throughout the city.
About the Author
Ki helps people looking for Austin real estate and land. His site allows users to search the Austin MLS and provides information on current mortgage interest rates.
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