Here is my take on SXSW (the event as it exists) and my wrap up of who I saw and what I experienced.
To begin, I love the week of music from the multitude of bands that come in from out of town that SXSW brings. Bands everywhere..in the street, on the corner, in parking lots, and in the clubs. The unknown and the unsigned, looking for the moment of glory, and 'to get signed'! It is amazing, and glorious.
SXSW is the greatest culmination of raw talent looking to prove themselves, gain new ground or fans, and hopefully/ultimately maybe be the next big thing, EVER!
It hurts when I hear people hate on SXSW, BUT what I do agree about is the awful and ridiculous commercialization of what it is now. What it is now is quite stupid and a joke of itself.
Here is my example of the media brainwashing and destruction of SXSW that it has done to itself;
On two occasions, in two separate years - last year and this year, I have invited/asked people if they were going to go downtown during SXSW. The responses both times were sad and heartbreaking. "Oh, I can't go. I can't afford it." "I can't afford badges or wrist bands or whatever." Oh the horror!
My explanation to those people is simple. The event that is SXSW is free, there are tons of bands to see, tons of events to go to, many things to experience. The badges are just a ridiculous media hype. Why would you pay HUGE sums of money for a badge or a wrist band (that DOES NOT guarantee you entry - based on venue capacity)? Why would you pay LARGE sums of money for a badge or wrist band to go see a huge name artist? Jay -Z, Lady GaGa, or any other giant of the music world. Save your damn money and go see them at a concert venue, for a lot less! That makes no sense...does it?
Go to SXSW and enjoy those bands who are there to prove something. The variety of music is mind boggling. The shear size of the entertainment district is almost impossible to walk from one end to the other. Encompassing venues and spaces on both sides of IH 35. From well far above 6th St to south of the river. SXSW as an event, NOT a named entity, has tons to offer for free.
The purity of that week, the soul of what it is, means, and stands for, will NEVER die. The Live Music Capital of the World won't let that happen. Let the powers that be have the name SXSW cannibalize itself and become a living joke on itself.
Thank god for everyone and every thing that is out there to continually let people know.
Come to Austin. Come to SXSW. Play, have fun, and discover something new. It's all for the music, for the fans, and the best of all, the best that SXSW has to offer will ALWAYS be free!
p.s. - my write up for the fun I had and the experiences I had will come shortly...be prepared!