The South By Southwest (SXSW) Music and Media Conference is held annually in Austin, Texas. Organized and run by SXSW, Inc., the festival includes film and music entertainment. SXSW is important to Austin as the event brings millions of dollars in revenue to local businesses. SXSW showcases Austin as a live music and film capital, making the city a major player in the entertainment industry. The event caught on quickly with music lovers-SXSW has grown from 700 registrants to over 17,000 registrants since its inception in 1987.
Part of the fun with SXSW is the freedom to see a variety of artists. The influx of fresh sounds from around the world is something Austinites dig. Thousands of wristbands are sold for attendees via the SXSW website and local merchants. Fans also have the ability to choose the artistic line up through interactive panels on SXSW's website. During the festival, attendees see whatever act they desire, as long as the venue has not reached maximum capacity. Bands are seen in area establishments in downtown Austin including 6th Street, Congress Avenue and the Warehouse District.
SXSW is a place for musicians and filmmakers to make contacts, network and be discovered. Many bands are new, independent or unsigned, so connecting with an agent, getting a record label or a studio contract is the next step in their career. Conferences and workshops are held at the Austin Convention Center during the day. The SXSW website makes it simple for registrants to book lodging and make travel arrangements to Austin. The festival is all about assisting up and coming artists who otherwise remain unknown. Maps, directions, itineraries and even sporting tournaments are offered to SXSW registrants.