Spring Break Brings SXSW

Priyunka Maheshwari, News Editor

South by Southwest is one of those Austin traditions that makes clear the fact that we live in the live music capital. Bringing in 13,022 participants in 2010, SXSW expects an even larger crowd for 2011, which begins Friday, March 11th. The jump in attendance went up from 2009 to 2010 by 11%, and the lineup of bands and movies is sure to draw in many music and film lovers, as well as students.

 “I don’t know exactly who I will see, but there are a lot of options, which is what makes it so great,” Charlotte Calvin, sophomore, said.

 For those who are passionate about seeing a band or artist, the cost may not seem like a big deal. However, some were discouraged by the price of a ticket, especially so close to the event. Prices to attend just the music part of the conference jumped to $700, and access to music, film, and interactive is priced at $1150.

 The wide variety of bands playing makes it hard for some to decide what to see. The multiple and overlapping genres of music add to the mix of who to see and who not to see. Rap artists include B.o.B and country fans may enjoy the Austin City Limits lineup on Friday, March 18th.

 “I love going to see alternative bands that no one has ever heard of. I’m definitely going to see Bright Eyes and B.o.B.,”sophomore Farran McCawley said.

 SXSW isn’t just for music; it also includes a great film and interactive opportunity. Headlining films that will have showings at SXSW include Paul, Source Code, and Super—starring big name actors and actresses such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Ellen Page, and others.  The interactive section will feature trade shows, technology presentations, networking events, video games, and more. New technology is expected to be spread at SXSW, as this helped put both Twitter and Foursquare on the map.

 This year’s SXSW will feature over 80 venues all within walking distance from the Austin Convention Center. Different venues will be able to accommodate different levels of traffic, and many venues are expected to reach full occupancy.

 “It’s such a great event because it’s all downtown at night and everywhere you go there’s music,” McCawley said.