Originally founded purely as a music festival, South by Southwest (SXSW) has long since transformed into the world’s most important digital and creative festival. In 1986, a small group of people met in Austin, Texas for a series of long discussions about the future of entertainment and media. All were agreed that the local creative and music scene was as talented as anywhere else on the planet. However, a lack of exposure outside of Austin was severely limiting the creative potential in the region. Thus, the group hit on the idea of SXSW.
Film and interactive added in 1994
SXSW celebrated its premiere in 1987. At first, the festival was essentially a music conference and attracted 700 delegates – far more than the expected 150 registrants. The event grew steadily during the ensuing seven years. In 1994, two new events – interactive and film – were introduced and soon became key parts of the festival that now has special emphasis on technology.
Model for Hamburg’s Reeperbahnfestival
The 21st century version of the festival offers creative people a venue for developing their careers and brings together people from around the globe to learn and share ideas. The 31st SXSW festival gets underway from March 9-18, 2018 and is likely to be a cradle of unforgettable meetings and interaction. Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival was founded in 2006 modelled on SXSW.