Write your fears down on a piece of paper. Fold it into a pirate hat, put it on your head. There, now you're a pirate [with] no fear.

Music submissions now open! | Interactive: March 13-17, 2015 | Film: March 13-21, 2015 | Music: 18-22, 2015 | Austin Weather

The rush of Kickstarter to SXSW Film

Variety’s Dave McNary has some nice numbers on the rise of Kickstarter funded films at SXSW this year.  Six of the twenty feature films ‘in competition’ have used Kickstarter to raise funds, while the full slate of 145 films includes  twenty-four films using the crowd funding site to raise a budget.

This follows in the trailblazing path of last year’s ‘Veronica Mars’ feature, which was a keystone of SXSW coverage for much of the mainstream press.

And to go alongside the kick-started films, there are two sessions to hear more about best practices and real-world examples… Science of Social Funding: 247 Campaign Patterns on Tuesday 17th, and the quirky story of How Potato Salad Killed/Saved Crowdfunding on Monday 16th.

# Posted by Ewan on February 10, 2015; 1 Comment.

Big Names Take To The Stage For SXSW Interactive Set Pieces

More names front he SXSW Interactive team today as they pull out the big guns in the featured speakers line-up. The names include Eric Schmidt (Google’s Chairman), Biz Stone (Twtter, Square, and Odeo), The Winklevoss twins (currently working on Bitcoin exchanges), Gigi Sohn (Special Counsel at the FCC), Pete Cashmore (Mashable), and more.

I always find ‘the big names’ at SXSW to be interesting discussion points. Nobody gets to these exhausted positions without having some smart ideas and the ability to action those visions. But they will also be aware that they don’t want to slip up or make any public mistakes. So the talks announced today are going to be very high level, no doubt educational, but if you want your SXSW experience to be a little less… scripted… look for the smaller panels and catch the big set pieces on the streaming replays or hashtags.

The great thing is that SXSW can accommodate both extremes of talks, from the energetic and rowdy debates to the fireside chats – and both could make or break a career or two.

# Posted by Ewan on February 9, 2015; Comments Off.

Reputation, dignity, and memory – A successful SXSW’er needs all of these things

Peter Shankman may have written his tips for enjoying SXSW back in 2012, but they remain super-relevant for the event three years later. Rather than focus on the day to day physical survival of Austin’s busiest week, he focuses on how to survive with your reputation intact. It’s mostly aimed at SXSW Interactive and the huge gamut of parties many feel the need to run through, but there are valid points for everyone, such as:

The parties are fun. Just get a glass of club soda with a slice of lime at the beginning of the event, and nurse it. Not only will you be much happier the next morning, but you’ll get to actually remember what you did at the party, who you talked to, and what you said. Perhaps more importantly, you won’t be “that guy.” I’ve been “that guy” once. Three years later, there’s still not water hot enough to wash off the shame.


Networking starts LONG before you get there. The second you register, use the beauty of social media to let the world know, and find new people who are going as well. Ask them if there’s a hashtag, then use it. You want to have at least ten new people you plan to meet over the course of the conference before you go to the conference. The rest of the people you meet will be nice bonuses. The end game for you is to come out with new contacts.

You can read all of Shankman’s wisdom here.

# Posted by Ewan on February 8, 2015; Comments Off.
Events & PartiesFood & DrinkInteractiveSXSW

No iTunes Festival for 2015

Well, the talk of the town from last year’s SXSW Music isn’t coming back. We’ve a bit of a love/hate relationship with the  iTunes Festival that rolled into Austin last year. Eric loved the organisation, vibe, and ticket allocation of Cupertino’s fest promotional vehicle. On the other hand I didn’t like the way it sucked the mainstream media’s attention away from the indie artists and smaller stars that make up SXSW.

Lets see how we get on without a great big Apple invasion this year, and let’s get the focus back on the new music.

# Posted by Ewan on February 5, 2015; 2 Comments.
Events & PartiesMusicSXSW

Get on your bike to get around Austin

Once more, the SXSW team are working with the local Austin infrastructure to help you get around. The SXcycle program has been around on the fringes of SXSW for many years now, but the partnership with Austin B-Cycle should give it much more prominence this year.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with B-Cycle, you can essentially pick up a bike from one of many dock/stations around Austin, and cycle around for thirty minutes for free. At the end of the time, there’s a small hourly fee, or you just dock the bike at any other station to stop the clock. So yes, you can pick up a bike opposite the Long Center For Performing Arts, pedal over to Stubbs, and there’s no charge.

Well, there is the matter of a daily fee, but that’s where SXcycle comes in with its free vouchers!

From Friday, March 13th to Saturday, March 21st – 10am-8pm daily – the SXcycles depot at 604 Driskill St will hand out complementary B-cycle day pass vouchers to SXSW badgeholders. This $8 value grants attendees unlimited rides 30 minutes and under for 24 hours once activated. Each B-cycle comes with branded basket, three gear options, branded splash guard, reflectors, and built in lights. Voucher quantities are limited per day, so come early to get moving!

I found the B-Cycle station outside my hotel last year, and I never stopped peddling for SXSW week. THe vouchers are a great idea, but I’m already budgeting to sign up for all my time in Austin in advance.

# Posted by Ewan on February 4, 2015; 2 Comments.
Accomodations & AmenitiesSXSW

SXSW Film 2015 Round 2 Announcements

Hey Babies! The second round of 2015 films are here. Start making your plans on what to see.

SXSW 2015 Film Line Up

SXSW 2015 Feature Films

There is a plethora of new stuff happening this year, so make sure you read up on all the info:

Convergence (what’s that?)
Episodic Screenings (say what?)

Keep checking back on SXSW Baby! for updates, insider tips, and all the SXSW you can stomach! Midnighters and Shorts programs will be announced on February 10th. Make sure you’ve got us bookmarked!

# Posted by Wendy K. on February 3, 2015; Comments Off.

Turning Japanese For The Twentieth Time

Those new to SXSW Music will know there are many parties and single events throughout the festival. With almost every SXSW Music event a one-off, you might not be aware that some of these events are more established than others. THen there’s Japan Night, which has been around for a ridiculous length of time time in Austin.

This year Japan Night will be twenty years old, and if you’re looking for something that’s not your Ryan Seacrest/Superbowl Show style material, head to The Elysium on March 20th. The bill includes the US debut of  Moumoon; Japanese folk from Pirates Canoe, and The fin; rock from TsuShiMaMiRe and Quorum; and a blast of eastern power-punk from Mahousyoujo-ni-naritai and Samurai Dynamites.

More details at japan-nite.com.

# Posted by Ewan on February 1, 2015; Comments Off.
Events & PartiesMusicSXSW