Date: March 12th-17th
Location: Austin, TX
Size: No idea. REALLY BIG and spread out. Probably over 250,000.
Price: Free 99 if you want or $600 for a music badge.
Years Running: 25
Lineup (that I saw)- The Shins, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Mumford and Sons, Flux Pavilion and Doctor P, Policia, Santigold, Promise Ring, A Trak, Steve Aoki, Dillon Francis, Brown Bird, Knife Party, and about a million other bands.
Crowd: The crowd for SXSW is easily one of the most interesting one’s you will find. On one hand you have the industry people. Everyone in the industry is there which makes the whole scene pretty awesome. The best thing about SXSW is it is host to every kind of music. So you will pass a group of metal heads followed by a rap group. Throw them all on 6th street and add in free alcohol and you have yourself a really fun and one of a kind experience.
Organization: SXSW is in a league of it’s own. They rent out over a hundred bars and book music at them non stop from 6pm-2am. The amazing part about SXSW is all of the other bars in town get sponsors and book other amazing bands as well but start even earlier and go later. So you basically hop from bar to bar to bar to bar to infinity seeing amazing music. Each venue is in charge of their own bathrooms and they all did a great job with it.
Stages: This is my favorite part about SXSW. I was there for 7 days of music and I don’t think I went to the same venue more than twice. SXSW is the perfect way to experience all of the amazing venues Austin has to offer.
Landscape: SXSW is all pavement and the inside of bars. Finding places to sit ranged from difficult to impossible.
Food: The food was great. You had three options. 1. Go to one of the hundreds of restaurants Austin has to offer. 2. Eat from a street vendor. 3. Find the shows with free food. I bet you can guess which option I choose.
What makes this festival special? SXSW is freaking amazing. Bands that play SXSW are either established and launching an album in the coming year or they are bands that are ready for the world to see them. All of the music is incredible. You also get the pleasure of experiencing Austin which is my favorite city in the world. Everything about it is great. Oh, and don’t forget that you can do this whole trip for free if you want to. You might miss a couple bands but it really doesn’t matter in the grand sceme of things. You will see more music this week than any other week of you life.
What could be improved? One thing that drove me nuts was the fact that you could not tell if you needed a badge, tickets, or a wristband until you went to the front of the line. I really wish they would have put up signs that explained everything to us. Life would have been much easier.
Overall Rating: 5 stars. This is a festival not to be missed. So freaking fun!