South by Southwest, SXSW, will turn this town upside down March 12-21, 2010. SXSW, has been a popular Austin event for many years now. Originally a 1987 music festival, in 1994 the company extended their welcome to the film industry. Gradually over the years the festival is coming to encompass many different forms of art. The event now covers everything from music to film to writers / bloggers and painters.
It’s big business for Austin, particularly downtown Austin. The event brings in promoters of all kinds and visitors from all over the world. SXSW is now an international affair. SXSW creates an opportunity for local business to host their own events and parties. Not only does SXSW use local spots to host their events, but many events and parties that aren’t even on the SXSW role call occur. Many restaurants, cafes, boutiques and bars choose this event to host and promote local and international artists in their own establishments. So not only do you have the official SXSW events calendar, but then you have a variety of local spots to choose from for a variety of party and events.
Over the years the international popularity has grown, and so has the price tag. Badges range from $350 to over $1000. Now for some this is a small price to pay to hear some of the most cutting edge artists in the various industries. And for some it’s strictly business. Every year artists make news at SXSW. Artists such as Jason Mraz, Aqualung, Amos Lee and others have catapulted their careers at SXSW. And many filmmakers now use SXSW as the means by making their world premiers. But for some the price is too steep. This is where local hot spots such as Cafe Mundi, Stubbs and many others step in. Want to be apart of it all but don’t have the dough? Skip the badge and hit a local party and various spots around town. You just have to do a little digging to find out who’s hosting what. But various artists will often slip over after their spot on SXSW to make an appearance at a local coffee shop. In addition many that aren’t on the official lineup will use this as their opportunity to shine. Either way its a great time to really get into the international art community.
The event also promotes Austin real estate. Many have bought homes in this area as a result of visiting the festival, making Austin their new base. And others use their investment properties as hot rental property for those unable to get a hotel. It’s events like this that make Austin shine.