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

Posts Tagged ‘sxsw’

Is Downtown Going To Be A Bit Less Crowded This Year?

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

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.

Why RSVPs at SXSW aren’t worth your Twitter handle

Monday, January 19th, 2015

If you’ve ever wondered why an RSVP at SXSW is never a guarantee of entry, why you still have to queue, meet RSVPster. For forty dollars, you can have the site’s organisers sign up to every event at SXSW Interactive and SXSW Music and send you the details. It doesn’t matter if you only want to go to a few, your name will go down on every list out there.

While it provides great flexibility for you as a punter on the streets of Austin, speaking as a former SXSW Event Organiser it wreaks havoc on any planning. Services like RSVPster (it is not alone in offering this style of service) flood every invite list and tool out there. SXSW Baby! once had 785 people signed up to come to our meet and greet breakfasts in Austin – we got the normal numbers turning up (around thirty to forty, for an 8am event) but our invite list gave us an indication that it would be twenty times that number.

If you’re coming to SXSW and are looking for a list of parties, then there is some value here – just be aware that just because your name is on the list, downs;t mean you’ll get in everywhere.

After all, with services like this, everyone’s name is on everyone’s list.

Start planning your daytime adventures in Austin with the scheduler

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

One of the advantages of living with a digital SXSW are the online tools. SXSW’s own Schedule system allows you to navigate all the sessions, marking your favourite,s and building up your own itinerary. This can be viewed online, and presumably through this year’s mobile app when it arrives.

It’s not that long before we all move to Sixth Street, so grab a coffee and dip into the SXSW Scheduler to mark your favourites.

We here at SXSW Baby! would always suggest that you have alternatives marked out at each time slot. Planning is good, but listening to serendipity not he streets of Texas’ capital is always the way to guarantee an excellent adventure. It’s worth noting that the music showcases are not yet listed in the system, nor are the film screenings, but they’ll show up during February.

Or you could rely on a big marker pan, just like we did in the old days…

Here Come The Bands (take 3)

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

The SXSW team have announced the third wave of performers who have showcases at this year’s SXSW Music festival. You can read the full list online at SXSW, but there are a few names I would want to pick up.

Blitzkids (YouTube) are from Nantwich in the UK, and are a good pop/punk band with a nice crunchy sound; New Albany’s Houndmouth (YouTube) return to Austin with a delightful folksy root sound; and Toffee (YouTube) from Taipei, Taiwan, who have a great modern twist on the classic sounds of the Far East.

There’s rather a lot of music to get through, so don’t forget our friends of the parish over at ‘Operation Every Band‘ are going to listen and rank all the showcases to help you through the festival of music.

No more giant vending machines in Austin?

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Okay, over the festive period we missed this one, but the SXSW team has confirmed to the press that Doritos will not be involved at this year’s SXSW.

That means no giant vending machine, no demands to do silly viral videos for tickets, and no great big beacon of commercial sponsors towering over Sixth Street and downtown Austin. Which is probably for the best.

Don’t forget the music panels at SXSW 2015

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Lots of panels are being announced for SXSW, head over to the main site for all the details. I just want to draw attention to the music panels. While SXSW Music is heavily geared towards the showcases, especially in the mainstream press, it’s the panels and the opportunities to learn from others (and to make lots of new connections in a short amount of time).

So take some time to look through the panels, not only is there a lot to learn, but hitting the panels forces you to get up relatively early in the day so you can maximise your time in Austin!

Find all the Music panels here!

Papers, Please!

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Well, the calendar has ticked over, it says 2015, and there’s no point putting off any more planning. In just over two months time, SXSW is under way… and we here at SXSW Baby are going to give you the best pointers, advice, hints, and tips, to make the most of your Austin Adventure.

First up, and this applies to pretty much everyone outside of the US. You really need a visa to visit the US, and if you haven’t got one, you’d better get a move on.

The other option is the Visa Waiver Program, and most people flying in from Europe will be able to take advantage of this and simply fly in without a visa. The only wrinkle to this is you do need to register with the ESTA – Electronic System for Travel Authorization – before you depart! It takes about ten minutes, it costs a few dollars, and you should make sure you’ve been approved.

Regulars at SXSW from abroad should have this under control, but ESTA needs renewed every two years, so it’s worth checking you’re still valid, because it’s a long and lonely flight home otherwise.