The 25th Annual South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference and Festival is shaping up to be the biggest and best one yet. Activities will be centered in the Austin Convention Center and will spread out over 90 music venues throughout central Austin. There will be more panels and panelists, more exhibition spaces, more performances, more demonstrations, more trade show days, more companies exhibiting from more countries with more bands than ever before: over 13,000 music industry professionals will be making the trip to Austin, Texas, Wednesday, March 16 through Sunday, March 20, 2011.
All new for 2011 is the SXSW Trade Show: The Exhibition for the Creative Industries held Monday, March 14 through Thursday, March 17. For the first time, the SXSW Trade Show will span all three conferences – music, interactive and film – and is the heart of the convergence for the evolving industries represented. The expanded trade show offers a unique opportunity for performers and other industry professionals to meet in one-on-one scenarios and exchange information. 22 countries from around the world are represented by participating organizations.
New in the trade show is the Next Stage presented by Watchitoo where performances, discussions, demos and debates will take place on the Trade Show floor. Also new is the SXSW Hiring Hub powered by Monster.com, which will house digital displays listing the various companies at SXSW with job openings, as well as hosting tailored programming by Monster.com for those seeking talent and those seeking to utilize their talents. A complete list of Exhibition participants with full web pages and direct links to each company is available here.
The 2011 SXSW Music Conference at the Austin Convention Center is a core component of the event covering business and creative issues in music. Highlights will include: Bob Geldof’s Keynote Address on Thursday, March 17 at 10:30 a.m.; SXSW Featured Speaker sessions include an interview with Crystal Bowersox and a speech by Andrew WK on Wednesday March 16; Duff McKagan will speak on musician’s finances and Duran Duran and Chamillionaire will be interviewed on Thursday March 17; Yoko Ono will be interviewed on Friday March 18; and on Saturday, March 19, interviews with Bobby Rush and John Popper will be presented.
Panels with notable speakers include: What Would Gaga Do? featuring Perez Hilton, Who’s The Rockstar? Sports as Entertainment and How Music Fits In with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Yankees great Bernie Williams; Bravo’s Platinum Hit – How to Become the Next Big Hitmaker with Jewel; and A Woman’s Work: Changing the Music Industry with Liz Phair. Over 140 panels and presentations will cover all aspects of music-making. In addition, three distinct workshop tracks are offered for artists and interested newcomers; the small group Quickies, the one-on-one Mentor Program and the music reviewing Demo Listening Sessions. For a complete list of panel topics, descriptions and speakers, access the SXSW website.
Also taking place in the convention center is The Radio Day Stage, Dot Com Day Stage, Gear Alley Expo, and the South By Bookstore. The Gear Alley Expo is relocating and expanding to four days and will be featuring Speed Sets with short 10-minute shows by official showcasing bands sharing the latest gear made by the exhibiting manufacturers.
The Radio Day Stage Cafe is a favorite place to enjoy performances from showcasing artists, grab a drink and relax. The cafe is open Wednesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with performances from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The Dot Com Day Stage presented by SESAC is a second stage that will be curated by such respected entities as BrooklynVegan, RCRD LBL, The Smoking Section, Sala de Espera, Consequence of Sound and Clash Music.
The South by Bookstore will feature notable SXSW registrants selling and signing books as well as CDs and DVDs of favorite SXSW participants. During the day, the SXSW Trade Show is the centerpiece for networking and business activities for anyone working in the music industry.
One of many new events this year is the music-related technology category for SXSW Accelerator presented by Microsoft BizSpark which takes place on Wednesday, March 16 in the Hilton Austin is where a live audience and a panel of expert judges discover the most innovative advancements in music technology as products are demonstrated by some of the most ambitious talents in the world with the most creative new ideas to change it. More information can be found here.
Scheduled March 16 and March 17, the first-ever SXSW Technology Summit will bring together industry leaders from a variety of European, Asian, Middle Eastern and South American countries for panel sessions that reveal trends and usage patterns in various parts of the world. This special event will also offer a series of in-depth workshops that provide higher-level tips and analysis, allowing digital professionals and web experts from across the globe to take their career to the next level. More information can be found here.
The SXSW Music Festival, which spans five nights with a limited number of showcases also scheduled for Tuesday, will present 2000 musical acts from 61 countries on 90 stages in venues ranging from the most intimate clubs to the outdoor stage located at Auditorium Shores on scenic downtown Lady Bird Lake. The music starts on Tuesday, March 15 and runs through Sunday, March 21.
The outdoor shows, at the Auditorium Shores Stage on Lady Bird Lake, are free to the public and take place for three days, Thursday, March 17 through Saturday, March 19. Thursday’s show starts at 6:00 p.m. and includes The Strokes, Twin Shadow and Luke Rathbone; Friday’s line-up also starting at 6:00 p.m. will be Blue October, World Party, and Suzanne Choffel; Saturday’s show, will feature a full day starting at 1:30 and includes Bright Eyes, The Felice Brothers, Middle Brother and Man Man, Kurt Vile And The Violators, MarchFourth Marching Band and Ozokidz.
The ending celebration of the SXSW Music Festival is the Twenty-ninth Annual Austin Music Awards at the Austin Music Hall on Saturday, March 19 at 7:09 p.m. sharp. The evening includes a special performance by acclaimed singer-songwriter Sahara Smith (Myth of the Heart) accompanied by Will Sexton; the first-ever reunion of 80s country classics The Wagoneers featuring Monte Warden and with guest Joe Ely; a one-time only appearance by Texas psychedelic legends Bubble Puppy; fresh, rocking hometown heroes the Bright Light Social Hour; the Meat Puppets with special guest Roky Erickson, the godfather of Texas psych; and a concert-length closing set from Mother Falcon. Registration badges and wristbands for SXSW include admission to the Austin Music Awards.
SXSW has a brand new mobile app for SXSW 2011, SXSW GO, proudly presented by HP ePrint, and is the official mobile app for getting the most out of SXSW 2011. SXSW GO is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7. Search and browse the entire event list, create and save filters based on category, sub-category, track, and venue. View a map of what’s going on around you. Find Exhibitors at the SXSW Trade Show. Check in to events with Gowalla or share your favorite events via Twitter or Facebook. You can also keep an eye on the SXSW Twitter feed and SXSW Facebook page for all the latest news! Go to sxsw.com/mobile and download today!
SXSW is working with several sponsors to provide technical integrations to enhance attendee experience during the event. The SXSW 2011 SHOUTcast Radio station features streaming music by SXSW 2011 Music Festival Showcasing Artists. MapQuest maps are embedded throughout SXSW.com, the SXSW mobile apps, and will be available in several locations on-site in Austin. SXSW also has a new registrant directory and social hub, SXsocial, where attendees can find other registrants to network with before and after the event. Search by location, tags, title, company and see which of your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn friends are also attending SXSW2011 (sxsocial.sxsw.com ). You can also see the SXSWeek full lineup and build a personal schedule at schedule.sxsw.com.
A real twist on an old favorite this year is SXswag. Rather than a bag full of goodies, we are instead providing an easy and efficient digital marketplace offering such things as music samplers and software that are free or at greatly reduced in prices for all SXSW registrants. This new feature is accessible through SXSocial. Not to worry though, our famous canvas bags with their unique art will still be handed out.
Music collectors will find all kinds of sweet deals under one roof with The Collectors Exhibition featuring The Flatstock Poster Show and the Texas Guitar Show in the Austin Convention Center (ACC) Level 1. The Flatstock Concert Poster Exhibition and Collectors Show presented by SXSW and the American Poster Institute (API) and sponsored by Rovi takes place Wednesday, March 16 from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday, March 17 – 19 from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Over 100 poster artists representing decades of styles, colors and techniques will be selling and displaying their posters. There will also be live music each day from showcasing bands. Running concurrently is the Texas Guitar Show on Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19. Bring your musical instruments to sell, trade, or have appraised. Buyers will find everything from guitars, amps, banjos, mandolins, effects, memorabilia, sound gear, parts, drums, violins, books and accessories.
For the first time this year, South By Southwest will present Style By, an exhibition aimed at showcasing emerging talent in the fashion industry. The event features dozens of up-and-coming designers and manufacturers of women’s and men’s apparel, eyeglasses, watches, shoes, and much more. This unique event takes place on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19 at the Austin Convention Center and is free and open to the public. It will feature runway shows, on-site screen-printing and exhibiting designers selling their lines.
To celebrate the 25th Anniversary, a new book distributed by UT Press title SXSW Scrapbook: People And Things That Went Before will be published and available at the General Store and South By Bookstore. It is a collection of memories, experiences and photos that countless people had while attending SXSW over the past 24 years. For those that are curious how it all started, what notable showcases took place each year, or what events are seered on former staff’s and participants’ memories, this book will prove entertaining, amusing, emotional and enlightening.
The 2011 SXSW Golf Tournament will take place at the Riverside Golf Club on Wednesday, March 16 at 12:00 p.m. (Shotgun Start). The format will be Four-Person “Texas” Scramble. This year it benefits The Folk Alliance. For more information, please call 901/522-1170 or email email@example.com.
The annual SXSW Barbecue & Softball Tournament gets underway Sunday, March 20, at Monroe “Lefty” Krieg Fields. Player warm-up begins at noon, with the first game starting at 1:00 pm sharp. For those who prefer to socialize rather than exercise, there’s authentic Texas Barbecue with all the trimmings prepared by Ruby’s Barbecue (with all natural, free-range beef). Vegetarians need not despair though, Ruby’s does vegetarian options, also. It’s a great opportunity for that last meet up while being thoroughly entertained by the antics on the playing field. This event is for SXSW Music and Platinum registrants only and is the perfect setting for that final one-on-one conversation.