Wednesday, 7 April 2010

SXSW 2010 Part One (a personal account)

[Written by Adan]

SXSW is a two week long interactive, film and music conference/party that engulfs Austin, Texas every year in March with artists, creative types, industry insiders, and partygoers alike. But that’s an oversimplification. Over 1800 bands from 59 countries make their way here for showcases, and far more just join in on the party. The interactive portion this year boasted a 33% increase in attendance, which is unsurprising considering the increasingly connected state of art and its commerce. Indie films and shorts were screened alongside big movie premieres (The Runaways, with Joan Jett in attendance), a documentary on Lemmy (of Motorhead notoriety) and my personal favourite, Bill Hicks’ Icon tribute. This precedes the music portion which this year included everyone from the next big hipster bands to Snoop Dogg to Thurston Moore to the Lot49 crew.

Free parties and free booze are far easier to come by than sleep and relief from ear ringing, and it’s easy to see why. The real attraction though (in my humble opinion) is the creative energy, the exuberance, the overall vibe of the masses, playing music in the streets and dancing in the clubs. Every hallway and most parking lots in downtown Austin become venues, as blogs and labels and sponsors vie with official shows for a bit of the crowds attention. It’s a conference, a party, a networking opportunity, a drunken holiday and a physical challenge all rolled into two weeks. And this is still simplifying it. Good times y’all. I’ll recap my personal highlights and shenanigans next.

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