My favorite time of year continues to be SXSW in Austin. This was my 5th year at the festival. I usually speak on a panel, but this year I decided to just go to enjoy myself. It was a good move. This trip turned out to be my best yet.
For those who don’t know, SXSW is a festival that happens once a year in the already very cool town of Austin Texas. The festival includes movies at the different movie houses, including the legendary Alamo Draft House theaters. The Alamo has to be experienced to understand why they are so great. Every year I come home wishing we had one in my town.
Most of the films are independent, and often the audience gets the opportunity to speak to the cast and filmmakers to give feedback and hear more about the film. There have also been more and more bigger premiers. This year for example, we got to see the premier of I Love You, Man, and Observe and Report.
There is also a music festival part of SXSW that is one of the biggest in the country. I think that may be because Austin has the largest collection of bars in one area that I have ever seen… and I live in Vegas. The acts can vary from small bands trying to make a name, to giant acts (Metallica this year) that like popping in for a surprise.
And of course there is the interactive part of the show, which is how I came across the festival in the first place. A lot can be said about the interactive portion of SXSW. It’s by far the biggest collective of innovators in our space. I also come back with a head full of ideas, and occasionally those ideas turn into something worth millions.
I’ll do another post soon to go over my favorite films and bands of SXSW in 2009. If you have never been to the event, I would highly recommend it.