By Marc Woodfork
What started in 1987 as a small regional music festival, has blossomed into an annual super fest. SXSW has become one of the premier festivals to attend. No longer exclusive to music, it has expanded into films, television, gaming and interactive content. The film festival portion attracts all the major studios and a who’s who of A-list talent. Walking the floor of the convention hall is a mind-numbing experience in itself. A must see for all the tech heads.
The convention floor is overflowing with robotics and augmented reality — not to mention the number of virtual reality booths that are present. If you enjoy conventions, SXSW is certainly a different experience. It’s unlike the more familiar comic cons. As a colleague eloquently stated, “this place is too smart for me”. That might be the case for the neutral convention attendee.
Now SXSW at night is a totally different experience. The event is generally located in the downtown area of Austin. This is where the bars and music venues are. After dark, the streets are filled with the most eclectic mix of people you’ll ever see in one place. From hipsters to millennials, to hippies and societies “forgotten.” Old and young all walking the streets looking to have fun. The amount of food trucks is staggering. I thought Texas was world famous for the barbecue, which I’m sure it still is, but the number of pizza joints here really surprised me.
Day One was certainly eye-opening, we’ll see what day two has to offer up.