South By Southwest is a set of music, interactive and film festivals and conferences that take place every year in Austin, Texas. Commonly known as SXSW, it began in 1987 and has continued to grow in size every year. South by Southwest is run by a company, called SWSX Inc. that plans and executes conferences, trade shows, festivals and other events. SXSW chose the Capitol as the hosting city because of the background and character due to the University of Texas, which draws in people from all over the world, and as the home to the Texas Legislature and state government. Austin is the self-proclaimed “live music capital of the world” and the people of Austin reflect a friendly, accepting culture of artistic and individual expression that maintains the city as a vibrant and eclectic creative center. “Keep Austin Weird” is more than just a slogan, but reflects the diversity that encompasses the city.
So why SXSW? It’s a good place to be as the festival attracts a lot of young, early adaptors of new technology, music and directing talent. SXSW attracts thousands of entrepreneurs and startups. SXSW Music is the largest music festival of its kind in the world, with more than 2,200 official performers and bands playing in more than 100 venues. The music event has grown from 700 registrants in 1987 to nearly 12,000 registrants.
In 1994, SXSW added both the Film and Interactive Conferences to accommodate these growing industries. SXSW Film and SXSW Interactive events have grown every year, most recently bringing around 15,000 to 20,000 registrants to Austin. SXSW Interactive has earned its reputation as a starting ground for emerging digital and creative technology. The conference lasts for 10 days total, with SXSW Interactive lasting for five, Music for six, and Film for nine days.
At this years SXSW, the Ron Parks Photography crew was invited to photograph all the crazy moments happening during the festival! The crew had such a fun time running around the streets in downtown Austin and meeting people from around the world that flew in specifically for the festival. Some of those fans were from Australia, Japan and The Netherlands! We love capturing the diversity of this awesome city and SXSW is one of the best times to do it.
As SXSW came to a close, one of the most memorable things about this year’s festival got a lot of attention. We would like to recognize the two victims that were killed and the other 23 people that were injured when a drunk driver plumaged into a crowd of people walking in the streets during the event. A vigil remembered the two victims killed during the crash that happened early Thursday morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of all the victims involved in the horrific scene.
With that said, we hope next year will be just as fun and more precautions are taken to ensure the safety of the SXSW attendees!
Here are some pictures from 2014’s SXSW that the Ron Parks Photography crew photographed!