March Madness, Austin Style

Linda Burton posting from Austin, Texas — SXSW, pronounced South by Southwest, that’s the buzz today. Mary and Joseph, there is No Room in the Inn, or even the stable. Every room in every hotel is booked and there are regular posts as to which streets will be blocked, and when. Shuttles and bikes are recommended and walking will get you there faster than your burro. I heard tell that someone rented their couch last year for a thousand bucks! One thousand dollars for a weekend only, no refrigerator privileges.

 The folks in Austin and the media world know all about it but if you’ve been living in a vacuum, check it out.  It begins today and goes through March 18, a festival-conference feast for every lover of music and film and interactive media.  And, for those actually in the business, it’s get-together time. South by Southwest, going now for 26 years.  According to Roland Swenson, Co-founder and Managing Director, “the value of meeting people face-to-face in order to share creative ideas and do business is what makes SXSW invaluable.” He calls it a vital launching pad for creative endeavors.

A Platinum Badge costs you $1,395 (SOLD OUT) and gets you 9 days of film screenings and premiers, 9 days of film, music, and interactive panels and keynotes, 6 days of music festival, 4 days of trade show, 4 days of stage programming, and unlimited networking opportunities. And then there are the parties, awards, mentoring sessions, book readings, and even a softball tournament for a break when you’ve reached sensory overload.

I’ve missed ticket-op time, but I’ll enjoy reading about who’s here and what they are doing during the next week.  Who needs Cannes when you’ve got Austin, Texas?