It’s that time of year again. The country’s premiere music and film festival, South by Southwest (SXSW), is taking over Austin, TX, for its annual run of the entertainment industry’s best and brightest from March 7 through March 16. What started in 1987 as an extension of New York’s New Music Festival has now become a ten-day melee of comedy, film, and music.
A slot at SXSW is coveted by any and all performers, producers, and companies associated with entertainment. This year’s SXSW will showcase over 1,700 artists’ performances and over 800 sessions–or interactive panels with those making waves in the industry. These sessions are considered the interactive part of the festival, and will take place March 7 through 11. The film showcases will take place March 7 through 15, and music will take over March 11 through 16.
The festival is an opportunity for music and film hopefuls to snag auditions with agents and industry professionals. The band Hanson and John Mayer both landed their first major record deals as a result of SXSW, and Fred Armisen launched his comic career at the film festival in 1998.
This year marks the first year of Apple’s iTunes Festival, which will take place at SXSW and feature artists such as Coldplay, Pitbull, and Imagine Dragons. Apple is hoping to incorporate the iTunes brand with emerging music, and the impressive line-up will be playing alongside the substream artists SXSW was designed for.
Also new this year is SXsports, which is comprised of film and interactive projects and performers holding athletic or sport-related themes. SXsports is an attempt to see sports through a new lens and examining their cultural impact on society. Seems a little out of place at a festival where most the constituents wear skinny jeans and have zero grams of muscle on their bony little frames, but you know, whatever.
Check out all that SXSW has to offer:
SXSW 2014 Comedy
SXSW 2014 Music
SXSW 2014 Film
SXSW 2014 Interactive
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Anna is a freelance writer/producer based out of San Francisco. Her writing covers several genres, but her passion lies in humor, entertainment, education and culture.