Like so many things in Austin, the two-weekend event, South by Southwest, goes by many names. It is usually written as SXSW and is often shortened to “South by” in conversation. Since the first SXSW event in March of 1987, SXSW has grown into the SXSW Conference & Festivals that takes place over 10 days in Austin, Texas.
The SXSW Festival portion of the event is actually four festivals: SXSW Interactive, SXSW Film, SXSW Music, and SXSW Comedy, and each area is explored with parties, awards, screenings, and showcases.
Kicking off with the SXSW Interactive Festival Opening Party on the evening of March 8 and running through March 12, the SXSW Interactive Festival will provide evening networking experiences ranging from parties to award presentations.
From March 8 through March 16, the SXSW Film Festival will feature a diverse talent with a selection of 102 features and episodics in a variety of genres including documentaries, dramas, and comedies.
The SXSW Music Festival will host a mix of new, developing, and established artists from many different genres and more than 60 countries with performances in a wide variety of venues around central Austin from March 11 through March 17.
From March 8 through March 16, the SXSW Comedy Festival will feature a daily — and nightly — schedule of a diverse line-up of comedy including standup, improv, sketch, podcasts, panels, and parties with a diverse group of rising stars, established performers, and surprise guests.
Finally, whether or not you plan to attend any of the SXSW events, remember that with more people in Austin, there will be longer travel times, so make sure to plan some extra time into your commute if you plan to travel across town.