SXSW’s Roland Swenson covers a lot of ground in a recent interview with the Austin Post, talking about showcasing local bands, volunteers, V2V, and missing Brent Grulke. But it’s the notes on growth (or the lack of it for the next few years) that caught my eye:
The last five years added 10,000 people. That’s my off-the-top-of-the-head. Right now we’re going to flatten out because of the limit on hotel rooms. We just did a survey where we found out a lot of our people are staying in HomeAway-type situations, and I think we’ve maxed those out. But by 2015 we’ll get another 1,500 to 2,000 hotel rooms, and that will help.
For Interactive the problem is really just moving bodies. They’re business people and they’re willing to stay away from Downtown. Music people don’t want to do that at all. But we have to move those people from those outlying areas Downtown.
The takeaway? Downtown hotels sell out. Fast. With registration opening in the next few weeks, if you want to be in walking distance, decide now if you’re coming in 2014! As for the rest of the interview, head on over to the Austin Post.
(Just one nitpick, though. When Swenson says “There’s probably no other street like Red River St. anywhere else” he really needs to come and see The Royal Mile in Edinburgh during the Festival…)