SXSW – South by Southwest


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South by Southwest
SxSW logo.png

The official logo for SXSW, 2017
Genre Conference and festival
Dates March (dates vary but generally coinciding with University of Texas at Austin spring break and also usually includes St. Patrick’s Day)
Frequency Annual
Location(s) AustinTexas, U.S.
Years active 31
Inaugurated 1987
Founders Roland Swenson, Louis Jay Meyers, Louis Black, Nick Barbaro
Next event March 8–17, 2019
Attendance SXSW Music: 28,119
SXSW Interactive: 30,621
SXSW Film: 16,297
SXSW EDU: 4,260
Other Exhibits/Parties: 152,000
Organized by SXSW, LLC
Website
sxsw.com

South by Southwest (abbreviated as SXSW and colloquially referred to as South By) is an annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in mid-March in Austin, TexasUnited States. It began in 1987, and has continued to grow in both scope and size every year. In 2017, the conference lasted for 10 days with SXSW interactive lasting for five days, music for seven days and film running concurrently for nine days. Comedy and gaming components to the festival are particularly fast-growing.

SXSW is run by the company SXSW, LLC which organizes conferences, trade shows, festivals, and other events.[1] In addition to the three main South by Southwest festivals, the company runs other conferences: SXSW EDU, a conference on educational innovation, held in Austin,[2] and (beginning in 2017) the me Convention, held in Frankfurt, Germany, in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz.[3][4] Former conferences run by the SXSW organization were SXSW Eco, an environmental conference held in Austin from 2011-2016;[5] and one in Las Vegas: SXSW V2V, a conference focused on innovative startups[6] which ran from 2013 to 2015.

Divisions[edit]

A view of 6th Street in downtown Austin, Texas, during SXSW 2013

Music[edit]

SXSW Music is the largest music festival of its kind in the world, with more than 2,000 acts as of 2014.[7] SXSW Music offers artist-provided music and video samples of featured artists at each festival via their official YouTube channel.[8][9]

The music event has grown from 700 registrants in 1987 to over 28,000 registrants. SXSW Film and SXSW Interactive events have grown every year, most recently bringing over 51,000 registrants to Austin every March.[10]

Bands must cover their own expenses for travel and lodging at the event. All performers are offered a cash payment or a wristband package that allows access to all music events.[11]

Film[edit]

SXSW Film Conference spans five days of conference panels and sessions, and welcomes filmmakers of all levels. Programming consists of keynote speakers, panels, workshops, mentor sessions and more, with expert filmmakers and industry leaders.[12]

In 2015, the SXSW Film Conference programmed over 250 sessions with 735 speakers. Past notable speakers include Jon FavreauMark DuplassAva DuVernayRyan GoslingNicolas CageAlejandro JodorowskyTilda SwintonAmy SchumerSally FieldJoss WhedonChristine VachonRZAMatthew McConaugheyDanny BoyleSeth MacFarlaneCatherine HardwickeRichard LinklaterDavid Gordon GreenHarmony KorineHenry RollinsSarah Green and Robert Rodriguez.[13] Although the film festival often highlights independently produced films and emerging directing talent with unique visions,[14] the festival has long served studios as a starting point for their comedies, using enthusiastic fans as a barometer of how they might play in wide release.[15]

The SXSW Film Festival runs nine days, simultaneously with the SXSW Film Conference, and celebrates raw innovation and emerging talent both behind and in front of the camera.[16] Festival programming categories include: Special Events, Headliners, Narrative Spotlight, Documentary Spotlight, Narrative Competition, Documentary Competition, Visions, Midnighters, 24 Beats Per Second, SXGlobal, Episodic, Festival Favorites and Short Film Programs. The SXSW Film Awards, which occur on the last day of the Film Conference, honor films selected by the Feature and Short Film Juries.

In 2015, the SXSW Film Festival programmed 150 feature films and 106 short films, selected from 7,361 submissions.[17] Past notable world premieres include Furious 7NeighborsChef21 Jump StreetThe Cabin in the WoodsBridesmaids and Insidious, and the TV series GirlsSilicon Valley and Penny Dreadful.[18]

Interactive[edit]

SXSW Interactive is focused on emerging technology, a focus which has earned the festival a reputation as a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies.[19] The festival includes a trade show, speakers, parties, and a startup accelerator.[20] According to a festival organizer Louis Black, SXSW Interactive “has probably been the biggest of its kind in the world” since 2007.[21]

History[edit]

Inauguration – 1980s[edit]

In July 1986, the organizers of the New York City music festival New Music Seminar contacted Roland Swenson, a staffer at the alternative weekly The Austin Chronicle, about organizing an extension of that festival into Austin after having announced that they were going to hold a “New Music Seminar Southwest”.[22] The plans did not materialize, so Swenson decided to instead co-organize a local music festival, with the help of two other people at the Chronicle: editor and co-founder Louis Black, and publisher Nick Barbaro. Louis Meyers, a booking agent and musician, was also brought on board.[23] Black came up with the name, as a play on the name of the Alfred Hitchcock film North by Northwest. The event was first held in March 1987. The organizers considered it a regional event and expected around 150 attendees to show up, but over 700 came, and according to Black “it was national almost immediately.”[21]

Meyers left Austin and the festival in the early 1990s, but Black, Barbaro and Swenson remained the festival’s key organizers as of 2010.[21]

1990s[edit]

Singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked was the keynote speaker at the 1992 South by Southwest. She caused controversy by delivering a speech, written by her then-husband Bart Bull, criticizing white musicians for stealing music from African American artists; and then later during the same conference when she tried to kick the band Two Nice Girlsoff of a benefit concert, a move that some called anti-gay, due to Two Nice Girls’ overtly lesbian image.[24]

In 1993, SXSW moved into the Austin Convention Center, where it is still held.[25]

In 1994, SXSW added a component for film and other media, named the “SXSW Film and Multimedia Conference”.[21] Johnny Cash was the keynote speaker.[26]

That year, the three brothers of the band Hanson were brought to SXSW by their father in order to perform impromptu auditions for music executives, in the hopes of getting industry attention. Among the people who heard them was A&R executive Christopher Sabec, who became their manager, and would soon afterward get them signed to Mercury Records.[27]

In 1995, the SXSW Film and Multimedia Conference was split into two separate events, “SXSW Film” and “SXSW Multimedia”.[21]

In 1999, SXSW Multimedia was renamed “SXSW Interactive”.[21]

2000s[edit]

Singer-songwriter John Mayer‘s performance at the 2000 SXSW Music festival led to his signing soon thereafter with Aware Records, his first record label.

A performance by the band The Polyphonic Spree at the 2002 SXSW Music festival helped bring them to national attention before they had signed with a major label.[28]

At the 2002 SXSW Film Festival, the film Manito won the jury award for narrative feature, while the documentary Spellbound won the jury award for documentary feature.

British singer James Blunt was discovered by producer Linda Perry while playing a small show at the 2004 SXSW Music festival, and was signed to Perry’s Custard Recordssoon thereafter,[29] where he would go on to release all three of his subsequent albums.

The 2005 SXSW Film is considered by some to be the origin of the mumblecore film genre. A number of films now classified as mumblecore, including The Puffy ChairKissing on the MouthFour Eyed Monsters and Mutual Appreciation, were screened, and Eric Masunaga, a musician and the sound editor on Mutual Appreciation, is credited with coining the term “mumblecore” at a bar while at the festival.[30]

The film Hooligans won both the Feature Film Jury Award and the Feature Film Audience Award for narrative feature, while The Puffy Chair won the Feature Film Audience Award in the “Emerging Visions” category. The documentary film Cowboy del Amor won the SXSW Competition Award and the Audience Award.

A secret concert at the 2006 SXSW Music by the band The Flaming Lips was called one of the “Top 10 Music-Festival Moments” of all time by Time magazine in 2010.[31]

The 2006 SXSW Interactive featured a keynote panel of Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales and Craigslist founder Craig Newmark.[32]

That year, “Screenburn at SXSW”, a component for video games, was added to SXSW Interactive.[21]

The 2007 music festival took place from March 14 to 18, and more than 1,400 acts performed.

Two of the top film premieres that year were Elvis and Anabelle and Skills Like This.

The social media platform Twitter notably gained a good deal of early traction and buzz at the 2007 SXSW Interactive,[33] though it did not launch at SXSW 2007 as is sometimes reported.[21]

The 2008 SXSW Interactive got media attention due to a keynote interview of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg by technology journalist Sarah Lacy that was considered by some observers to be a “train wreck” due to an audience perception that Lacy was asking uninteresting questions, as well as mocking or terse answers in response from Zuckerberg.[34]

In 2008, a comedy element was added to SXSW; it was held for one night. (By 2012, comedy performances occurred on all nights of the festival.)[35]

The 2009 festival was held March 13–22. The Interactive section of SXSW in particular drew larger attendance levels; the influx strained the networks of providers such as AT&T (primarily due to heavy iPhone usage).[36] Also new was the founding of an international organization for those not attending, dubbed NotAtSXSW. Coordinating through Twitter and other online tools, notatsxsw events were held in London, New York, Wisconsin, Portland, Oregon and Miami.[37]

The mobile app, Foursquare, was launched at SXSW 2009.

The 2009 SXSW Interactive saw the launch of the Foursquare application, which was called “the breakout mobile app” of the event by the Mashable blog.[38]

The 2009 SXSW Film screened 250 films, including 54 world premieres. The event was notable for having the United States premiere of the film The Hurt Locker, which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2010.[21] The winners of the feature jury awards were, for documentary feature, 45365, and for narrative feature, Made in China.[39]

2010[edit]

The 2010 music festival, which took place March 12–21, was dedicated to Alex Chilton, who died shortly before he was to perform with Big Star.[40] A tribute concert was performed in his honor on March 20, 2010.[41]

At the 2010 festival, nearly 2,000 bands were officially scheduled to perform,[42] and festival reps estimated that over 13,000 industry representatives attended.[43] Though traditionally the Austin Music Awards kick off the festival, that year organizers slated it as the closing act. Local musician Bob Schneider earned 6 awards, including Song of the Year, Singer of the Year, and Band of the Year (with Lonelyland.)[42] The 2010 festival was also notable for appearances by the surviving members of the band Moby Grape.[44]

At the 2010 Film festival, Magnolia Pictures bought the film rights to the science-fiction film Monsters on the night it screened, in what was the first-ever “overnight acquisition” at SXSW. Journalist Meredith Melnick of Time magazine called this purchase a turning point for SXSW, leading to a greater interest among film studio executives in attending the festival in person.[45] That year also saw the premiere of the indie favorite Tiny Furniture, which won the award for Best Narrative Feature.

The 2010 Interactive festival had an estimated 12–13,000 paying attendees, which represented a 40% jump over the previous year.[46] This was the first year in which the interactive festival’s attendance surpassed the music festival’s.[46] The keynote presentation was an interview of then-Twitter CEO Evan Williams by Umair Haque, an interview that many in the audience found disappointingly superficial.[47] Also during the interactive festival, the first-ever (and so far only) “Hive Awards For the Unsung Heroes of the Internet” were held.

2011[edit]

The 2011 SXSW festival ran from March 11 to 20.

The keynote presenter for SXSW Interactive was Seth Priebatsch, founder and CEO of the mobile-gaming platform SCVNGR.[48] The 2011 Interactive festival was by far the largest it had ever been, with an estimated 20,000 attendees.[49]

Also in attendance at SXSW was boxing legend Mike Tyson, promoting his new iPhone game with RockLive at the Screenburn Arcade.[50]

At least two films screened at the SXSW Film festival gained distribution deals: the documentary Undefeated (which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature) and the thriller The Divide. As a result, film critic Christopher Kelly wrote that in 2011, SXSW Film went from being “a well-regarded but fundamentally regional event” to having “joined the big leagues of film festivals around the world.”[51]That festival was also notable for having the premiere of the film Bridesmaids.[52]

The March 15th screening of the Foo Fighters documentary Back and Forth was followed by a surprise live performance by the band itself, with a setlist that included the entirety of the then-upcoming album Wasting Light.[53]

2012[edit]

SXSW 2012 ran from March 9 to 18.

The standout technology of the 2012 SXSW Interactive was generally stated to be “social discovery” mobile apps, which let users locate other nearby users. Social discovery apps that had a presence at SXSW included Highlight, Glancee, Sonar and Kismet.[54][55]

SXSW Film saw the premiere of two major Hollywood films: The Cabin in the Woods[56] and 21 Jump Street.[52] Two films obtained distribution deals: Girls Against Boys and The Tall Man.[57] Another film, Gimme the Loot, which won the SXSW Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize, got a distribution deal a week after the festival.[58] Bay of All Saintsreceived the Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary.[59]

2012 was also the first year the music portion was expanded to Tuesday. The musical festival included rappers such as Talib Kweli and Lil’ Wayne, along with surprise appearances by Big Sean and Kanye West; indie bands that appeared included MENEW and The ShinsBruce Springsteen was the keynote speaker for the music festival.[60]

2013[edit]

SXSW 2013 ran from March 8 to 17.

The big-budget films The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Evil Dead premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film, and Spring Breakers had its U.S. premiere.[61] The film Short Term 12won the grand jury award for Best Narrative Feature. The films Cheap Thrills and Haunter received distribution deals,[62] and Drinking Buddies obtained a distribution deal several days later.[63]

The 2013 SXSW Interactive saw another huge jump in registration, now with 30,621 paying attendees.[64] This was over three times the number that had attended in 2008 (9,000), just five years previously.[65] The keynote talk for the 2013 SXSW Interactive was given by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.[66] The “Screenburn” and “Arcade” components were renamed to “SXSW Gaming” and “SXSW Gaming Expo”, respectively.[67] The Interactive conference was noted for its increased corporate presence, featuring major participation by Samsung3MTargetAmerican AirlinesAdobe Systems and AT&T, among others.[66][68] According to CNNCBS and CNET called Grumpy Cat the undisputed “biggest star” of SXSW Interactive over Musk, Al Gore and Neil Gaiman.[69][70][71]

2014[edit]

SXSW 2014 ran from March 7 to 16.

SXSW Film had premieres of the big-budget films NeighborsVeronica Mars and Chef, and Cesar Chavez had its North American premiere.[72][73] A clip for the big-budget film Godzilla was also screened. The films Space Station 76[74] and Exists got distribution deals at the festival,[73] while Fort Tilden (which won the Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize) and Open Windows got distribution deals shortly afterward.[75][76]

A new section, “Episodic” (on television programming) was introduced to SXSW Film. Television series that previewed at the festival include Silicon Valley and From Dusk till Dawn: The Series. The talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! was taped for a week at the festival; it joined the talk show Watch What Happens: Live, which began taping at SXSW in 2013.[77]

SXSW Interactive featured a keynote speech by NSA leaker Edward Snowden, via streaming video, about privacy rights. The festival also featured a talk from another famous leaker, Julian Assange, also speaking remotely.[78] Besides privacy issues, another major focus of the Interactive festival was wearable technology, including devices for augmented realityactivity tracking, identity authentication, charging cell phones and others.[79] Computerworld magazine called the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality gaming headset, the “sleeper hit” of the festival, although ironically it was displayed not at the Interactive but at the Film portion, as part of a Game of Thrones exhibit.[80] The SXSW Gaming section introduced its SXSW Gaming Awards to recognize achievement in video and other types of gaming, which has continued through future SXSW festivals.

The keynote presenter and headline act this year for Stubb’s was Lady Gaga.[81][82] To promote her upcoming album, FoodKelis cooked and served barbecue-style food from a food truck to festival attendees.[83][84]

On March 13, 2014, a drunk driver, Rashad Charjuan Owens, drove his car into a crowd of festival attendees while trying to evade a traffic stop.[85] Two people were killed immediately, another two died later from their injuries and another 21 were injured but survived.[86] Owens was convicted of capital murder charges after a November 2015 trial in which eyewitnesses testified that about “a chaotic and harrowing scene” on the night, as hundreds of people ran and screamed as the car sped through crowds of people.[87][88] Owens was given an automatic sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.[89]

On March 15, 2014, rapper Tyler, The Creator was arrested on misdemeanor charges of “inciting to riot” after yelling to fans to push their way past security guards at a sold-out show the previous day.[90] In February 2016, the riot charges were dropped against Tyler, The Creator pursuant to a plea agreement with prosecutors (under which the rapper pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of disorderly conduct and paid a $100 fine, with the case to be dismissed if he stays out of trouble for three months).[91]

2015[edit]

SXSW 2015 took place from March 13 to 22.

SXSW Film screened 145 feature films, an all-time high for the festival.[92] The big-budget films Furious 7 (which was a last-minute addition to the lineup),[93] Get HardSpy, a rough cut of TrainwreckMoonwalkers and The Final Girls[94] had their world premieres, as did the documentaries Danny Says,[95] Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine and Brand: A Second Coming.[96] Ex Machina had its North American premiere. 6 YearsManson Family Vacation and Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine all got distribution deals at the festival.[97]

The 2015 festival hosted the swearing-in ceremony of Michelle K. Lee as the new head of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Secretary of CommercePenny Pritzker administered the oath of office to Lee at the festival on Friday, March 13.[98]

Various sources called Meerkat, an iOS app that had launched two weeks earlier that lets users livestream video via Twitter, the breakout technology of SXSW Interactive.[99][100] Another product that got significant buzz was a prototype of the roadable aircraft AeroMobil, which its makers, the company AeroMobil s.r.o., said would be ready for operation by 2017.[99][100]

2016[edit]

SXSW 2016 began on March 11 and ended on March 20.[101]

On March 11, President Barack Obama gave a speech at SXSW Interactive in which he called on the technology industry to help solve many of America’s problems, such as upgrading outdated networks, helping balance security and privacy, and the FBI–Apple encryption dispute.[102]

Films that premiered at SXSW Film include Everybody Wants Some!!KeanuSausage PartyPee-wee’s Big Holiday and Don’t Think Twice.[103]

On the night of March 20, gunshots rang out on 6th Street causing mass hysteria and panic. No injuries were reported and a man from Memphis was arrested with discharging a firearm and disturbing the peace.

2017[edit]

Films that premiered at SXSW Film include Song to SongBaby DriverAtomic BlondeGemini,[104] The Ballad of Lefty BrownSpettacolo and The Disaster Artist.[105]Television shows that were previewed include The SonDear White People and American Gods.[104] To promote the Hulu original miniseries The Handmaid’s Tale, an adaptation of the classic dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood, dozens of actresses silently walked the streets of downtown Austin costumed in red “handmaid” dresses.[106] To promote the third season of the AMC original series Better Call Saul (a spin-off prequel of Breaking Bad), a pop-up “Los Pollos Hermanos” restaurant, representing the fictional fast food chain featured in both series, appeared in downtown Austin.[107][108]

Guest speakers included former mayor of Newark, NJ and current Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey),[109] political activist and commentator Van Jones[110] and former Vice President Joe Biden,[111] who spoke about his cancer research initiative. Nile Rodgers gave the keynote address for the music portion of the festival,[112] while filmmakers Gareth Edwards[113] and Lee Daniels[114] gave the keynote presentations for the film portion.

Major companies and brands which exhibited at SXSW (many with standalone “brand activation” pavilions) included IBMIntelPanasonicNintendoGEGiorgio ArmaniMazda and National Geographic.

Major performers during the music component of the festival included Garth BrooksLana Del ReyLil YachtyThe RootsThe Avett BrothersWillie NelsonSolange KnowlesRae SremmurdMigos, and The Chainsmokers among others.

En route to SXSW 2017, Italian post-punk band Soviet Soviet, traveling on the Visa Waiver Program, was denied entry to the United States, detained overnight and deportedafter an immigration officer at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport claimed they were planning on conducting a paid performance, which would have required a work visa. The band presented a letter from their American record label stating that both their performances at KEXP (which was what had brought the band to Seattle) and at SXSW were for promotional purposes only, but this failed to convince officials at the airport.[115] There was also a “Contrabanned” showcase on March 17, featuring various artists and musicians (residents of the U.S. and Canada) who are natives of, or have family connections to, countries affected by the 2017 U.S. travel ban on citizens from parts of the Islamic world.[116][117]

Uber and Lyft pulled out of Austin in May 2016 as a result of a city ordinance mandating fingerprint-based background checks for drivers of any transportation network company.[118] However, other services such as (locally based) RideAustin, Fasten and Fare, were available, although in high demand. Uber and Lyft resumed service in Austin in May 2017.[119]

2018[edit]

The panel seated in director's chairs

IGN‘s Laura Prudom (far left) hosts a panel at 2018’s South by Southwest convention discussing Superman’s eightieth anniversary and the release of Action Comics #1000, with (left to right): Dan JurgensJim LeeFrank Miller, and Brian Michael Bendis. Miller has an unrelated Superman project scheduled for later in the year.

SXSW 2018 ran from March 9 to 18. Some attendees noted fewer “big name” musical acts and corporate pavilions at the festival, and fewer crowds, as compared to previous years.

Finalists of the 2018 SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event included Cambridge Cancer Genomics and Bluefield Technologies.[120] Two winners of the event were Austin-based: GrubTubs (in the Hyper-Connected Communities category) and ICON 3D (in the Social and Culture category).[121]

Guest speakers included U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont); entrepreneur Elon Musk; actor and former Governor of California Arnold SchwarzeneggerMayor of London Sadiq Khan; author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates; journalist Christiane Amanpour; rap artist/producer David Banner, and film producer/directors Barry JenkinsDarren Aronofsky and Steven Spielberg. Actor and comedian Bill Murray appeared at several unofficial functions during SXSW.

Major performers during SXSW Music included TinasheRae SremmurdRita CoolidgeSalt-N-Pepa and Khalid. There was an apparent increased emphasis on locally based performers, international acts and relative unknowns.

New games announced during the 2018 SXSW Gaming Expo included Sonic Mania Plus.[122] At the SXSW Gaming Awards (held March 17), the award for Game of the Year went to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.[123]

Films that premiered at the 2018 South By Southwest Film Festival include A Quiet Place, Blockers and Ready Player One.[124] Films that had their U.S. premiere include Final Portrait and Who We Are Now.[124] TV series that previewed include BarryKryptonThe Last O.G.[124] and Cloak & Dagger.[125] To promote the second season of the HBO series Westworld, a recreation of the show’s fictional Western “town” of Sweetwater was built on two acres of open land just outside Austin. Fans took shuttles to the site, which was dressed in the Old West style, with over 60 actors playing the parts of the android “hosts”.[126][127]

SXSW 2018 coincided with a string of bombings in Austin, which had begun on March 2 and ended on March 21, when the presumed perpetrator, Mark Anthony Conditt, blew himself up after being discovered by police.[128] Two of the bombings occurred during SXSW. On March 17, Live Nation Music, a company organizing events for SXSW, received a bomb threat via email. Police searched the area mentioned in the email and found nothing of concern, but planned performances by The Roots and Ludacris, among others, were canceled.[129][130] Police arrested 26-year-old Trevor Weldon Ingram the next day; Ingram was charged with making a terroristic threat, a third-degree felony, in connection with the email.[131]

Economic impact[edit]

SXSW is the highest revenue-producing event (outside of athletic and other events associated with the University of Texas) for the Austin economy, with an estimated economic impact of $190.3 million in 2012[132] increasing to $218 million in 2013,[133] $315 million in 2014,[134] $317 million in 2015,[135] and $325 million in 2016.[136] (In comparison, Super Bowl LI brought a $347 million economic impact to the Houston economy[137] and the 2016 Final Four brought a $324 million economic impact to the economy of Phoenix, Arizona.[138])

Additionally, demand for hotel rooms in the Austin area continued to outstrip supply, pushing average nightly room rates up to an all-time high of $350 in 2016, a 60 percent increase over the average room rate seen during 2011’s edition of SXSW. The average SXSW registrant also stayed in Austin longer in 2016, spending an average of 5.2 nights, up from 4.9 nights in 2015.[139]

Criticism[edit]

The growth of the festival has brought concerns about violence, crowd control, and safety.[140][141]

The 2014 drunk-driving incident prompted discussion about whether the festival had grown too large and raucous.[142] The organizers of the festival—SXSW Holdings LLC and SXSW Holdings Inc.—were sued by families of the four victims.[143]

In May 2014, partially motivated by the 2014 crash, Austin’s Urban Transportation Commission announced that it was seeking to enhance safety at the festival, with an initial focus on implementing transportation measures to resolve issues linked to the festival. The Austin Music Commission also met to discuss music venues and sound problems linked to the festival.[144] The city voted to limit the number of special events which would be approved to 114, a 32 percent decrease from the number of approved events during the 2014 festival.[145]

Another frequent criticism of the SXSW festival is that it has become overly commercialized. In 2013, NPR writer Andrea Swensson wrote that she had decided to stop attending the festival, writing, “I can’t help but feel that it has strayed far away from its original premise as a grassroots gathering place for new, undiscovered talent and increasingly feels like a big ol’ Times Square billboard-sized commercial.”[146]

In October 2015, SXSW announced the cancellation of two video game panels (“#SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community” and “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment In Games”) scheduled for the 2016 festival due to threats of violence made to the festival hosting the sessions.[147] In response to the cancellations, Buzzfeed and Vox Media made statements saying they would pull out of the festival if the two panels weren’t reinstated.[148][149] In response to the criticism, South by Southwest admitted that their decision to cancel the panels was a mistake. In lieu of a panel, South by Southwest hosted a daylong “online harassment summit” on March 12, 2016.[150] Despite fears that violent hecklers would disrupt the summit, it was described by Brian Fung as “a largely peaceful affair”, with protests limited to those who were angry about the bag searches conducted there.[151]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Comedian and actor Fred Armisen began his comic career with the short film Fred Armisen’s Guide to Music and SXSW, released in 1998, in which he poses as various characters, asking silly questions of musicians and other attendees at that year’s SXSW Music Conference.[152][153]
  • The 2011 documentary Winning America is about a US tour of Canadian band Said the Whale that culminates in that year’s SXSW Music Festival.
  • In the 2014 British film Frank, an experimental band (led by the title character) is booked to play a show at the SXSW Music Festival, but the gig leads to the band’s breakup.

Similar festivals[edit]

The creators of South by Southwest co-created two similar festivals in 1995: North by Northwest (NXNW) in Portland, Oregon (co-founded by the Willamette Week), and North by Northeast (NXNE) in Toronto (co-founded by Now).[154] North by Northwest ended in 2001, and was replaced by MusicfestNW (MFNW), an event run entirely by the Willamette Week. It was joined by TechfestNW, a technology conference, in 2012.[155] From 2006 to 2010, SXSW organizers also ran West by Southwest (WXSW) in Tucson, Arizona, a music festival which occurred directly before South by Southwest and mostly featured bands that were also booked for SXSW.[156]

Other active festivals inspired by SXSW include the following:

Festivals inspired by SXSW that are no longer running include:

Festivals inspired by South by Southwest have been collectively nicknamed “four-letter festivals”. Metro Silicon Valley, which founded C2SV, wrote that such festivals have become important revenue sources for the alternative weekly newspapers that have founded them.[154]

On October 3, 2016, a one-day festival, called “South by South Lawn” (SXSL), was held at the White House; it was a collaboration between SXSW, US President Barack Obama, and the American Film Institute.[157]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ “Sxsw Inc”. Sxswedu.com. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
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  45. Jump up^ Art of the Film Deal: Is South by Southwest Becoming the New Sundance?, Meredith Melnick, Time, April 1, 2011
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  54. Jump up^ Hottest new apps out of SXSW 2012, Jaymar Cabebe and Jason Parker, CNET, March 12, 2012
  55. Jump up^ SXSW 2012: The ‘Highlight’ of the festival, Jon Swartz, USA Today, March 13, 2012
  56. Jump up^ In shadows of hype, dialogue of ‘too much’ at SXSW, Jake Coyle, The Associated Press” March 13, 2012[dead link]
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  61. Jump up^ SXSW 2013 Brings ‘Burt Wonderstone,’ Spring Breakers,’ ‘Evil Dead,’ ‘Drinking Buddies’ & More To Austin, Kevin Jagernauth, Indiewire, January 15, 2013
  62. Jump up^ Olsen, Mark (March 12, 2013). “SXSW 2013: ‘Short Term 12’ wins feature prize”. Los Angeles Times.
  63. Jump up^ Yamato, Jen (March 19, 2013). “Magnolia Acquires SXSW Pic ‘Drinking Buddies'”. Deadline.
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  66. Jump up to:a b SXSW 2013: This revolution is brought to you by…, Hamdan Azhar, Washington Post ideas@innovations blog, March 11, 2013
  67. Jump up^ SXSW Interactive: A Growing Outlet For Video Games, Matt Clark, iQU’, March 14, 2012 Archived May 24, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  68. Jump up^ At South by Southwest, fewer startups, more marketers and media, Gerry Shih, Reuters, March 11, 2013
  69. Jump up^ “The unlikely star of SXSW: Grumpy Cat”. CNN.com. November 14, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
  70. Jump up^ March 11, 2013, 5:54 PM. “As SXSW Interactive winds down, Grumpy cat is clear winner”. CBS News. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  71. Jump up^ Terdiman, Daniel (January 23, 2013). “If Grumpy Cat is the biggest news of all, is SXSW in trouble? | SXSW – CNET News”. News.cnet.com. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  72. Jump up^ Cieply, Michael (January 30, 2014). “South by Southwest Adds a TV Section”The New York Times.
  73. Jump up to:a b Gettell, Oliver (March 10, 2014). “SXSW 2014: Five movie stories, including ‘Chef’ and ‘Veronica Mars'”Los Angeles Times.
  74. Jump up^ “Matt Bomer’s ‘Space Station 76′ Lands A Distribution Deal At SXSW – Socialite Life Socialite Life”Socialite Life.
  75. Jump up^ McNary, Dave (April 1, 2014). “Elijah Wood-Sasha Grey’s South by Southwest Thriller Gets U.S. Distribution”Boston Herald.
  76. Jump up^ McNary, Dave (March 18, 2015). “SXSW 2014 Winner ‘Fort Tilden’ Gets U.S. Distribution From Orion”Variety.
  77. Jump up^ Egan, John (January 21, 2014). “Move over, Jimmy Kimmel: SXSW welcomes back Bravo’s Andy Cohen — and his show”. CultureMap Austin.
  78. Jump up^ DeLuca, Dan (March 12, 2014). “NSA leaker Snowden is the rock star of SXSW Interactive”Philadelphia Inquirer.
  79. Jump up^ Doug Gross and Brandon Griggs (March 13, 2014). “5 things we learned at SXSW Interactive”. CNN.
  80. Jump up^ Jennings, Richi (March 10, 2014). “Oculus Rift is the sleeper hit of SXSW”Computerworld. Archived from the original on March 16, 2014.
  81. Jump up^ Hampp, Andrew (March 11, 2014). “Lady Gaga to Headline Stubb’s at SXSW”Billboard.com.
  82. Jump up^ Halperin, Rutherford (March 11, 2014). “Lady Gaga to Present Keynote Address at SXSW”Billboard.com.
  83. Jump up^ “SXSW 2014: Kelis takes her food van to the streets of Austin, Texas – video”The Guardian. March 14, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  84. Jump up^ “Kelis Serves Up Jerk Ribs at SXSW Food Truck”Rap-Up. March 14, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  85. Jump up^ Bever, Lindsey (March 14, 2014). “Man who drove car into SXSW festival was wannabe rapper with six kids”Washington Post.
  86. Jump up^ “4th Person Dies After SXSW Car Crash”. Huffington Post. March 27, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  87. Jump up^ Philip Jankowski & Jazmine Ulloa, Rashad Owens guilty of capital murder in deadly SXSW crashAustin American-Statesman (November 6, 2016).
  88. Jump up^ Philip Jankowski & Jazmine Ulloa, Sixteen people, most eyewitnesses, testify in Rashad Owens trialAustin American-Statesman (November 2, 2016).
  89. Jump up^ Ralph Ellis, Man who plowed car into SXSW festival crowd given life sentence, CNN (November 6, 2015).
  90. Jump up^ “Rapper Tyler, The Creator arrested at South By Southwest”. Associated Press. March 16, 2014.
  91. Jump up^ Jazmine Ulloa, As rapper’s riot charge is dropped, legal experts question arrestAustin American-Statesman (February 17, 2016).
  92. Jump up^ “SXSW 2015 film lineup adds mainstream appeal”. February 3, 2015. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
  93. Jump up^ Ramin Setoodeh (2015-03-16). “‘Furious 7’ Premieres at SXSW to Cheers for Paul Walker”. Variety. Retrieved 2015-08-13.
  94. Jump up^ “10 Most Anticipated Films at SXSW 2015”Consequence of Sound. March 9, 2015.
  95. Jump up^ “Danny Says – SXSW 2015 Event Schedule”SXSW Schedule 2015.
  96. Jump up^ Abramovitch, Seth (February 3, 2015). “SXSW Premieres Include Judd Apatow’s ‘Trainwreck,’ Melissa McCarthy in ‘Spy'”The Hollywood Reporter.
  97. Jump up^ Murphy, Mekado (March 19, 2015). “SXSW 2015: Films That Were the Talk of the Festival”The New York Times.
  98. Jump up^ Schwartz, Eric Hal (March 13, 2015). “New Patent Office Director Sworn In by Commerce Secretary at SXSW”DCInno. Streetwise Media. Retrieved March 16,2015.
  99. Jump up to:a b Graham, Jefferson (March 18, 2015). “Flying cars, tracking chips: The near future, from SXSW”USA Today.
  100. Jump up to:a b Newcomb, Alyssa (March 18, 2015). “SXSW 2015: 5 Standout Moments in Technology”ABC News.
  101. Jump up^ “Schedule”SXSW.com. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  102. Jump up^ Jervis, Rick (11 March 2016). “Obama calls on tech industry at SXSW to help solve nation’s problems”USA Today. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  103. Jump up^ Ramin Setoodeh, Justin Chang, Joe Leydon, Andrew Barker (March 11, 2016). “The 16 Buzziest Movies at SXSW Film Festival”. Variety.
  104. Jump up to:a b “SXSW: Ryan Gosling, Charlize Theron Take Austin for ‘Song to Song,’ ‘Atomic Blonde’ Premieres”Hollywood Reporter. March 14, 2017.
  105. Jump up^ McNary, Dave (February 7, 2017). “James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ to Premiere at SXSW”Variety.
  106. Jump up^ “SXSW: Hulu Says It’s Not Making a Political Statement With ‘Handmaids Tale'”. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  107. Jump up^ Anderson, Will (March 10, 2017). “SXSW Insider: Why the Los Pollos Hermanos pop-up came to Austin”http://www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  108. Jump up^ Maskeroni, Alfred (March 10, 2017). “Have a Look Inside AMC’s Perfect Replica of Breaking Bad’s Los Pollos Hermanos at SXSW”Adweek. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  109. Jump up^ O’Brien, Sara Ashley (2017-03-10). “Cory Booker: We need to love each other”CNNMoney. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  110. Jump up^ “SXSW Panel: The Messy Truth With Van Jones”. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  111. Jump up^ “Joe Biden calls for SXSW tech innovators to join ‘the only bipartisan thing left in America'”Los Angeles Times. 2017-03-12. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  112. Jump up^ “Nile Rodgers Talks Making Hits & Not Being a Music Snob During SXSW Keynote Address”Billboard. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  113. Jump up^ Valentini, Valentina I. (2017-03-13). “SXSW: Gareth Edwards Explains How a Starbucks Cup Influenced ‘Rogue One'”Variety. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  114. Jump up^ “SXSW: Lee Daniels Explains Why Trump Will Be Good for Hollywood, Details Childhood in “the Ghetto””The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  115. Jump up^ Tsioulcas, Anastasia. “Italian Band Soviet Soviet Denied Entry To The U.S., Jailed And Then Deported”NPR. NPR. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  116. Jump up^ Kot, Greg. “SXSW: Artists representing Muslim-majority countries band together”chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  117. Jump up^ “FAARROW Joins SXSW Bands In Drawing Attention To Travel Ban”NPR.org. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  118. Jump up^ Theis, Michael (May 7, 2016). “Uber, Lyft defeated in Prop. 1 referendum”American City Business Journals.
  119. Jump up^ “An inglorious return to Austin for Uber and Lyft”The Economist. May 26, 2017.
  120. Jump up^ “SXSW 2018”http://www.sxsw.com. January 16, 2018. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  121. Jump up^ “Two Austin startups win big at SXSW Accelerator pitch event”512 tech (Austin American-Statesman). Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  122. Jump up^ “Sonic Mania Plus Announced at SXSW with Physical Edition and New Characters”Bleeding Cool News And Rumors. 2018-03-16. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  123. Jump up^ “‘Legend of Zelda’ and ‘PUBG’ top winners at SXSW Gaming Awards”512tech (Austin American-Statesman). Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  124. Jump up to:a b c Ramos, Dino-Ray (January 31, 2018). “SXSW Unveils 2018 Festival Lineup, With John Krasinski’s ‘A Quiet Place’ Opening-Night Film”Deadline.
  125. Jump up^ Drew Knight, Daysi Yeates (March 11, 2018). “Marvel’s ‘Cloak & Dagger’ holds watch party at SXSW”. KVUE.
  126. Jump up^ “Inside HBO and Giant Spoon’s Massive Immersive Westworld Activation at SXSW”. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  127. Jump up^ “‘Westworld’s gritty western fantasy comes to life at SXSW”CNET. 2018-03-09. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  128. Jump up^ American-Statesman Staff. “THE SUSPECT: Family of Mark A. Conditt ‘grieving’ and ‘in shock'”Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  129. Jump up^ Staff, Variety (2018-03-18). “The Roots’ SXSW Concert Canceled Due to ‘Security Concern'”Variety. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  130. Jump up^ “Austin Police Warn People To Avoid Packages After 4th Explosion Injures 2”NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  131. Jump up^ “Man arrested for bomb threat that shut down Roots concert at South by Southwest in Austin”CBS News. March 18, 2018. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  132. Jump up^ “Report: SXSW’s 2012 economic impact was $190 million”. Austin American Statesman. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  133. Jump up^ “SXSW Announces 2013 Impact on the Austin Economy | Austin Chamber Divisional Blogs”. Austinchamber.com. September 18, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  134. Jump up^ “SXSW’s Economic Impact On Austin In 2014 Was Worth $315 Million”Texas Monthly. 2014-09-12. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  135. Jump up^ Swiatecki, Chad (September 15, 2015). “SXSW economic impact grows slightly from 2014”http://www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  136. Jump up^ Theis, Michael (September 7, 2016). “SXSW economic impact up slightly in 2016; hotel rates hit new high”http://www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  137. Jump up^ Martin, Joe (May 25, 2017). “Results are in: How much the 2017 Super Bowl brought to Houston”http://www.bizjournals.com/houston. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  138. Jump up^ Wiles, Russ (August 11, 2017). “Final Four gave Phoenix area a $325 million economic slam dunk, ASU study says”azcentral. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  139. Jump up^ Theis, Michael (September 7, 2016). “SXSW economic impact up slightly in 2016; hotel rates hit new high”http://www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  140. Jump up^ Conner, Thomas (March 21, 2011). “Violence and crowd control problems cause SXSW to consider limiting events”Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the originalon December 8, 2014. Retrieved 2015-08-13.
  141. Jump up^ Marjorie Owens, WFAA-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas (27 March 2014). “SXSW accident claims fourth life”USA Today. Retrieved 2015-08-13.
  142. Jump up^ Wood, Mikael; Brown, August (March 13, 2014). “A tragic wake-up call for SXSW?”. latimes.com.
  143. Jump up^ “Lawsuits: Deadly SXSW crash could have been prevented”. KXAN. Retrieved 2015-08-13.
  144. Jump up^ https://archive.is/20140517065154/http://www.khou.com/news/texas-news?fId=259080131&fPath=/news/local/&fDomain=10232. Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  145. Jump up^ “A smaller SXSW? Austin halts applications for special events”Austin Business Journal. 11 February 2015.
  146. Jump up^ Swensson, Andrea (March 5, 2013). “Why I’m Not Going To SXSW This Year”. NPR.
  147. Jump up^ Dewey, Caitlin (October 27, 2015). “SXSW canceled two panels after threats — but did nothing when female panelists asked about harassment”Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  148. Jump up^ Gallaga, Omar L. (October 27, 2015). “SXSW Interactive cancels two 2016 panels due to threats”Austin 360. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  149. Jump up^ Kulwin, Noah (October 27, 2015). “BuzzFeed and Vox Media Threaten to Bail on SXSW Unless Canceled Panels Are Reinstated”Re/code. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  150. Jump up^ “‘We Made a Mistake’: SXSW to Host Online Harassment Summit”. NBC News. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  151. Jump up^ Fung, Brian (13 March 2016). “SXSW: The most (and least) remarkable thing about the online harassment summit”Washington Post. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  152. Jump up^ “Portlandia – Fred Armisen – co-creator, co-writer, co-star – IFC”. Ifc.com. 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2015-08-13.
  153. Jump up^ Fred Armisen’s Guide to Music and SXSW on YouTube
  154. Jump up to:a b Metro Silicon Valley (September 20, 2013). “Alt-Weeklies’ Four-Letter Festivals: Movement Grows as Silicon Valley Launches C2SV”. AAN News.
  155. Jump up^ Tech may have found its next SXSW, John Patrick Pullen, CNNMoney, August 28, 2012
  156. Jump up^ Go West (by Southwest), young band, Polly Higgins, Tucson Citizen, March 9, 2006
  157. Jump up^ “Announcing South by South Lawn: A White House Festival of Ideas, Art, and Action”. 1 September 2016.

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