South by Southwest

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South by Southwest
South by Southwest
General information
place Austin , Texas
genre Music, film, interactive
Visitor numbers
2013 Music 25,119 (from 55 countries)
2013 Interactive 30,621 (from 57 countries)
2013 film 16,297 (from 58 countries)

The South by Southwest (SXSW) is a year in March in Austin , Texas , event taking place. It brings together festivals , conferences and specialist exhibitions, especially in the fields of music, film and interactive media. The festival first took place in 1987 and now lasts for a total of 10 days; if you add the sxsw-edu education fair and conference that took place directly before that, even 14 days.


The SXSW started as a music festival with a focus on roots rock and alternative country . Since 1994, the topics of film and interactive media have also been added to the event program and are now an important part of the festival. At the SXSW, prizes in the two categories are also awarded, which are recognized worldwide. Among other things, Twitter was presented to the general public there in 2007 . The SXSW was a model for Popkomm in Germany.

Event areas


SXSW Music celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011. In 2013, the specialist conference had over 25,000 registered participants from 64 countries. The conference offers a large selection of forums, lectures and workshops. The keynotes are usually given by well-known greats in the music industry (2013: Dave Grohl, 2012: Bruce Springsteen, 2011: Bob Geldof, 2010: Smokey Robinson, 2009: Quincy Jones, 2008: Lou Reed, 2007: Pete Townshend, 2006: Neil Young). At SXSW, a limited number of bands do not play on some outdoor stages, as is usual at festivals, but the festival offers over 2200 artists from over 50 countries on over 100 stages in Austin's clubs.


The SXSW Film film festival includes a film conference and in 2013 had over 15,000 registered participants from 57 countries. 133 films and 110 short films were shown at the film festival. In total, the 2013 film festival had almost 75,000 visitors.

new media

SXSW Interactive celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2013 and has seen double-digit percentage growth for over five years. It has become one of the largest and most important annual meetings for “digital creatives”, which in 2013 brought together over 30,000 participants from 57 countries. The focus of the more than 1000 lectures and discussions and 1800 speakers was on the areas of marketing, consulting, web development, social media, e-commerce, education, multimedia and interface design.


SXSW Comedy has been offering stand-up, sketch and improv comedians since 2008, performing in various clubs in Austin during the festival. Many of the appearances by stars and newcomers are recorded as podcasts . In addition, there are various lectures and workshops on the subject of “Comedy”. SXSW Comedy works with comedy central among others .

Other Events

The SXSW edu has been taking place directly in front of the SXSW since 2008 and, like it, consists of conferences, lectures and a trade exhibition. The focus here is on learning and teaching in the Web 2.0 age with the latest multimedia options. In 2013 the SXSW Edu had 4260 participants from 26 countries and there were 202 presentations with 473 speakers.

The SXSW v2v is the only SXSW event in Austin not take place, but in Las Vegas. It is also the most recent event, being held for the first time in 2013. V2v is designed as a supplement to SXSW Interactive with the aim of bringing the entrepreneur and startup scene together with the venture capital scene in a creative environment.

In March 2017 it was announced that SXSW would be hosting an event outside of the USA for the first time together with Mercedes-Benz . The me Convention , which took place from September 15 to 17, 2017 during the IAA in Frankfurt am Main , was devoted to a wide range of topics from the fields of technology, science, digital economy, culture and society, similar to the American model. The focus of the keynotes, lectures, workshops and panel discussions by over 100 international experts were questions about the future, which are intended to stimulate the social discourse about our way of life, work and actions as people under the influence of increasing dynamics of technological progress, changing environmental conditions and complex societies. Announced were Buzz Aldrin , Hans Ulrich Obrist , Amber Valletta , Hartmut Esslinger and Katherine Maher . The me Convention also offered festival elements in the form of numerous concerts by international artists and evening events in Frankfurt.


For almost a week, music and films are offered at a wide variety of venues. For the musical program alone there are over 50 stages available, on which over 1000 bands from all over the world often play. The SXSW is also a news and contact exchange for the music industry and for record companies the opportunity to sign new artists. Various artists and bands such as Norah Jones , The Darkness , The White Stripes or The Strokes experienced their breakthrough here. Trendy indie rock bands with a strong stage presence are in demand, so the Noisettes from London were invited three times. From Germany, Daniel Puente Encina and his multicultural Hamburg band Niños Con Bombas from Chile, Brazil and Germany, Subway to Sally , The Twang , Guano Apes , Kadavar and 17 Hippies played there in 1999 and were invited for the second time in 2008. In 2014, the US whistleblower Edward Snowden was a guest via an internet video chat.

Web links

Commons : South by Southwest  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. SXSW 2013 Fact Sheet ( Memento of the original from January 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 136 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. South by Southwest (SXSW) and Mercedes-Benz at the IAA in Frankfurt: Premiere at the IAA: International me Convention. Daimler AG, March 11, 2017, accessed on August 20, 2017 (announcement of the me Convention 2017 in a press release from Mercedes-Benz).
  3. ^ Me Convention. Retrieved August 20, 2017 (official me Convention website).
  4. 2009 interview with the band