definition: South-By-Southwest (SXSW) Tuesday March 7, 2006

So what the hell is SXSW all about?

SXSW is a tri-annual conference in Austin, TX for international ventriloquists and puppeteers…

Alright I’m a liar. SXSW is an annual 10 day conference in Austin, TX. It is split up into three mini-conferences. The Interactive Conference and Film Conference run simultaneously from March 10th-14th, while the more popular Music Conference runs from the 15th-18th. So for ten days in March the city of Austin is blitzkrieged with design geeks, starving musicians, corporate sponsors, indie-film darlings and ravenous music-execs.

2006 marks the conferences’ 20th year. It started out as a small indie-label gathering and has now blossomed into this massive 10 day event. The music conference gets the most publicity. Many of the popular bands of today got their first big break here. Bands like At-Drive-In, You Will Know us…, Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, and others blew-up on the North American scene by playing various showcase events during SXSW. This year’s music conference is no different. The keynote speaker is Neil Young and other sessions include the Beastie Boys, Morrissey and Kris Kristofferson. The line-up is equally impressive as bands like the Go!team, The Magenta Lane, k-os , Goldfrapp, Aberdeen City, and Jose Gonzalez are all penciled into be showcased. For self-proclaimed music geeks like me, this is utopia. I’m having hot flushes just listing this year’s artists. There is more music packed into those 3 days then anyone could honestly fathom. One thing though, that conference starts on the 15th of March.

I’ll be in Austin from the 10th -14th. The four days before the Music Conference, for the Design/Interactive conference. This conference is for the design and internet community. Topics range from Podcasting to Utilization of Web Applications to Startup advice. I could go into the boring details, but maybe I’ll just list the highlights (or as I like to call them the BRIE-lights):

Needless to say this conference is the epicenter for design nerds the world over to UNITE! So how does a complete poser like me end up there? Well, my friend Ian runs a start-up called Element Software Inc. Over numerous beers in November, we decided that this would be an excellent opportunity for his company and ourselves. The design community really feeds of this sort of interaction and to become apart of that community is one of the best ways to advance in the industry. Although for this trip we’ve decided it will best to fly under the radar and try to absorbing the experience as much as possible. It should be a great way to begin networking and breeding new ideas.

Anyways with my current state of disillusionment, the timing of this conference couldn’t be better. Before February, I was looking at this trip as a way to push the limits of my colon with intense Mexican food or further carve up my liver with Miller High Life. But after being spun around by my doctor last month, my outlook towards this conference has reversed. That being said it’s not like I won’t be flashing the the Hamiltons or bringing a bit of Calgary to Austin (see picture below), but my focus has definitely changed. Although I’m still feeling lost and overwhelmed, I’m now looking at this with the potential to start something far more fulfilling.

Calgary Stampede 1987 Belt Buckle

I hope that clears somethings up.

Categories: SXSW-2006, The-Personnal,

Commenting is closed for this article.