And by crowded we mean commercialised.
Chad Swiatecki writes of the lower demand for commercial spaces in Austin for SXSW Week. Over in the Austin Business Journal, he notes lower number of permits available between March 13-22 (around 25%) and the reduced demand for event co-ordinators.
The goal of the move is to ensure public safety officials have enough time to review safety plans and prevent the total effect of multiple large activations throughout downtown from creating a public hazard.
Bill Manno, the city’s corporate special events program manager, said there’s no set number that would cause the city to stop accepting applications, saying the combined size of events for all applications would be the determining factor. He told me the city would likely stop taking applications by the end of the first week of February.
The decrease in major brands flocking to SXSW will almost certainly impact the event’s local economic impact, which was found to be $315 million in 2014.
While the financial bottom line might be affected, the idea that the SXSW pendulum is swinging back towards the attendees and making stuff up as we go along (rather than try to compose an Instagram pic to get a Lady Gaga ticket) is a good thing.