Tonight I will land in Austin, Texas, for the 27th annual South by Southwest (SXSW) interactive, film, and music conference, and for the next 10 days, I will be submerged in what is considered the “most energetic, inspiring and creative event of the year.” I am very excited to be attending on behalf of Vivid Seats and can’t wait to share my experiences. But first, let’s preview what SXSW has in store for 2013.
My journey will begin with the interactive portion of the festival, which focuses on emerging technology and innovative ideas from some of today’s brightest thinkers. Over the years, SXSW has proven itself to be the event for tech industry hopefuls to proclaim their existence. In the past, industry leaders like Twitter and Foursquare have made their triumphant debuts at the festival.
The interactive portion also features hundreds of informative panels, workshops, and exhibitions creating the ultimate ‘geek’ paradise. A few of my panel picks for this year include:
- “Brand Fans, the New Brand Marketers” | Presented by Jen Saenz (Frito-Lay), Kevin Knight (Facebok), and Shiv Singh (Pepsi Co.)
- “Building Tools for Creativity” | Presented by David Karp (Tumblr)
- “Shaq Goes Social” | Presented by Shaquille O’Neal
- “Using Social to Fill the House” | Presented by Jamie Loeb (Nederlander), Dawn Gates (Universal Music Group Nashville), Jon Romero (Vector Management), and Ryan Bitzer (Eventful)
- “The Making of a Meme” | Presented by Adam Smith (Texts From Hilary), Diana Walker (TIME), Kira Pollack (TIME) and Stacy Lambe (Buzzfeed)
Speaking of memes, the most popular feline on the Internet, Grumpy Cat, is scheduled to make an appearance at the event, and will call the Mashable House its home from March 8-10.
After five intense days of interactive, SXSW will switch gears to focus on all things music, during which time, a slew of confirmed guests will perform such as Justin Timberlake and Dave Grohl. The Foo Fighters front man will be joined by his Sound City Players, including Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Rick Springfield, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Alain Johannes, Rage Against the Machine’s Brad Wilk, Fear’s Lee Ving, while JT’s appearance has stayed under the radar, but sources say he will play at least once during the festival at a private party. Also expected to appear is Green Day, Paramore, Tegan and Sara, Kendrick Lamar, Local Natives, Vampire Weekend and Passion Pit, among others.
Hip-hop artists Future, Solange, and Trinidad Jame$ are scheduled at everyone’s favorite venue, the Fader Fort, while “Thrift Store” stars, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, can be seen at the MtvU Woodie Awards, which will also take place in downtown Austin next week.
Beginning on Friday, March 8, I will be sending live updates from SXSW to Vivid Seats’ Twitter (@VividSeats), Tumblr, and Facebook pages. And if you will be in attendance at the festival, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].
See ya in Austin!