History of SXSW

Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW has emerged as the premier destination for creatives across the globe. Travel back to its origin and flip through the years of speakers, artists, filmmakers, and more in our interactive history timeline.

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Governor Ann Richards and the SXSW Directors photo by Martha Grenon

Governor Ann Richards and the SXSW Directors photo by Martha Grenon

History Intro

 

In 1986, Ronald Reagan was president. “Electronic mail” was used primarily by universities and the military. The Berlin Wall was standing. The Euro did not exist. Many phones used rotary dials to enter numbers. An Apple Macintosh computer with 128 kilobytes of RAM sold for $5,500 (in 2015 dollars). 40 million music CDs were made and sold worldwide.

That same year, a small group of people in Austin, Texas began a series of long discussions about the future of entertainment and media. The meetings were in the offices of The Austin Chronicle, and participants were sworn to secrecy. A fundamental opinion shared by the group was that the local creative and music communities were as talented as anywhere else on the planet, but were severely limited by a lack of exposure outside of Austin.

Music was the uniting factor, but the group had a catholic taste for art and ideas. Inclusiveness and reaching for new things were core values. The solution being discussed was an event that would bring the outside world to Austin for a close-up view.

As the key ideas were formed, recognition grew that Austin was not the only city where this was an issue. For a local event to bring the world to Austin, it needed to have value everywhere. A name was sought that was not restrictive in its concept.

Finally, in October of 1986, the announcement of the first South By Southwest was made. The SXSW group expected initial resistance from the locals, but it was quite the opposite. Almost everyone wanted to be involved. Resistance would come later.

The first event, held in March of 1987, saw an expected 150 registrants swell to 700 on the opening day. As hoped for, Austin’s charm won over the visitors, and SXSW took on a life of its own.

Growth was steady for the first seven years. For SXSW ’94, often remembered for the Johnny Cash keynote/performance, two new events – Interactive and Film – were introduced. It would mark a fundamental shift in how the world viewed SXSW. Still early in the paradigm shift created by the internet, the film and digital communities found a home in SXSW.

The event has changed in many surprising and meaningful ways since 1987, but at its core, SXSW remains a tool for creative people to develop their careers by bringing together people from around the globe to meet, learn and share ideas. (And maybe have a few once-in-a-lifetime experiences.)

– Roland Swenson, CEO of SXSW

History

History

2005
Al Franken at SXSW 2005

Interactive Keynotes: Jeffrey Zeldman (Web designer, author) (Opening Remarks), Malcolm Gladwell (author), Ana Marie Cox (Wonkette.com), Alex Steffan (WorldChanging.com) & Bruce Sterling (author)

Notable Speakers: Peter Merholz (Adaptive Path), Min Jung Kim (minjungkim.com), Laura Swisher (lauraswisher.com), Jane Wells (janeforshort.net), Molly Holzschlag (molly.com), Daniel Pink (author), Jason Santa Maria (jasonsantamaria.com), Robert Scoble (Microsoft), Irinia Slutsky (Red Herring). Notable Sessions: Building Your Brand with Blogs; Where are the Women of Web Design?; The Flash vs. HTML Game Show

2006
Neil Young & Jonathan Demme at SXSW 2006

Music Keynote: Neil Young

71 Panels, Workshops & Sessions | Notable Speakers: Interviews: Ted Cohen (EMI Music), Beastie Boys, Sam Moore, Morrissey, k.d. lang, Kris Kristofferson, Judy Collins, Pretenders, Billy Bragg, and Matthew Knowles; Hank Shocklee, Steve Earle, Dave Allen U.S. Representive Mary Bono

2006
David Cross & Anabelle Gurewitch at SXSW Film 2006

North American premiere of A Prairie Home Companion, the final film from legendary director Robert Altman, opens SXSW Film

Notable Speakers: Miranda Bailey, Bill Banowsky, Peter Bart, Alan Berliner, Doug Block, Josh Braun, Margaret Brown, Burnie Burns, Kirby Dick, Eugene Hernandez, David Hudson, Andy Langer, Karina Longworth, Tim McCanlies, Ted Mundorff, Bob Odenkirk, Maggie Renzi, Henry Rollins, John Sayles, Alex Smith, Charlize Theron, Diane Weyermann, Banker White. World Premiere Film Festival Highlights: 95 Miles to Go (Tom Caltabiano), Al Franken: God Spoke (Al Doob & Chris Hegedus), Before the Music Dies (Andrew Shapter), Dance Party USA (Aaron Katz), Darkon (Andrew Neel & Luke Meyer), Jumping Off Bridges (Kat Candler), The Life of Reilly (Barry Poltermann), LOL (Joe Swanberg), Manhattan, Kansas (Tara Wray), Nobelity (Turk Pipkin). Notable Talent: Erykah Badu, Beastie Boys, Felipe Cazals, David Cross, Jonathan Demme, Andy Dick, Al Franken, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Romano, Questlove, Neil Young

2006
Beastie Boys at SXSW 2006

1,493 Showcasing Artists Including Arctic Monkeys, Beastie Boys & Morrissey

Notable Showcasing Artists: Animal Collective (Baltimore MD), Arctic Monkeys (Sheffield UK), Art Brut (London UK), Belle & Sebastian (Glasgow UK), The Black Angels (Austin TX), Blackalicious (Oakland CA), Camera Obscura (Glasgow UK), Rosanne Cash (New York NY), Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Brooklyn NY), The Cribs (Wakefield UK), The Datsuns (Auckland NEW ZEALAND), dEUS (Antwerp BELGIUM), Devin The Dude (Houston TX), Echo and the Bunnymen (Liverpool UK), Flight Of The Conchords (Wellington NEW ZEALAND), Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly (Southend UK), Glass Eye (Austin TX), Jose Gonzalez (Gothenburg SWEDEN), Talib Kweli (New York NY), Little Willies (New York NY), Mr. Lif (Boston MA), Morrissey (Manchester UK), The Pretenders (London UK), Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Army (featuring Thurston Moore, Chris Brokaw, Doug McCombs and Ernie Brooks) (Paris FRANCE), Silversun Pickups (Los Angeles CA), Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (Brooklyn NY), Sia (Adelaide AUSTRALIA), Standing Waves (Austin TX), Tapes ’N Tapes (Minneapolis MN), KT Tunstall (London UK), Voxtrot (Austin TX)

2006
2006 Interactive Keynote Bruce Sterling Closing Remarks

Interactive Keynotes: Jim Coudal (Coudal Partners) & Jason Fried (37 Signals) (Opening Remarks), Heather Armstrong (dooce.com) & Jason Kottke (kottke.org), Craig Newmark (Craigslist) as interviewed by Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Burnie Burns (Rooster Teeth Productions) & Bruce Sterling (author) (Closing Remarks)

Notable Speakers: JD Lasica, Mena Trott, Faruk Ateş, (Happy Cog), Khoi Vinh (subtraction.com), Shawn Henry (w3.org), Tara Hunt (horsepigcow.com), Liz Danzico (Boxes and Arrows), Joel Spolsky (Fog Creek Software), Rufus Griscom (nerve.com), Reuben Steiger (Linden Labs), Lisa Stone (BlogHer). Notable Sessions: The Five Most Important Startup Decisions; Increasing Women’s Visibility Online; Web 2.1: Making Web 2.0 Accessible

2007
Amy Winehouse at SXSW 2007

1,580 Showcasing Artists: Peter, Bjorn & John, Public Enemy, Amy Winehouse, & Lily Allen

70 Venues & Stages | Notable Showcasing Artists: Lily Allen (Hammersmith UK), Archie Bell (Houston TX), Black Lips (Atlanta GA), The Bravery (New York NY), Hoodoo Gurus (Sydney AUSTRALIA), Kings of Leon (Nashville TN), Mew (Copenhagen DENMARK), Tom Morello’s Nightwatchman (with Slash, Nuno Bettencourt, Wayne Kramer, Les Claypool & Perry Farrell) (Los Angeles CA), Paolo Nutini (Paisley UK), Lee “Scratch” Perry (Kingstown JAMAICA), Peter, Bjorn & John (Stockholm SWEDEN), Public Enemy (Long Island NY), Sam the Sham (Memphis TN), Shearwater (Austin TX), St. Vincent (Dallas TX), Stax 50 Revue (Booker T. & the M.G.’s with Isaac Hayes, William Bell & Eddie Floyd) (Memphis TN), The Twilight Sad (Glasgow UK), Amy Winehouse (London UK), YB (Seoul SOUTH KOREA)

2007
World Premiere of Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up | Seth Rogen, Seth MacFarlane, Isla Fisher, Joseph Gordon-Levitt & More at SXSW Film

World Premiere of Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up | Seth Rogen, Seth MacFarlane, Isla Fisher, Joseph Gordon-Levitt & More at SXSW Film

Notable Speakers: Elizabeth Avellan, Eamonn Bowles, John Cameron Mitchell, Rob Corddry, David Gale, Richard Linklater, Seth MacFarlane, Ron Mann, Ken Marino, Thom Powers, Tom Quinn, David Wain. World Premiere Film Festival Highlights: Audience of One (Michael Jacobs), Billy The Kid (Jennifer Venditti), Does Your Soul Have a Cold? (Mike Mills), Frownland (Ronnie Bronstein), Hannah Takes the Stairs (Joe Swanberg), Helvetica (Gary Hustwit), Itty Bitty Titty Committee (Jamie Babbit), The Lookout (Scott Frank), Orphans (Ry Russo Young). Notable Talent: Isla Fisher, Greta Gerwig, Matthew Goode, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shia Labeouf, Ken Marino, Morgan Spurlock, David Wain

2007
Pete Townshend at SXSW 2007

Music Keynote Speaker: Pete Townshend

74 Panels, Workshops & Sessions | Notable Speakers: Emmylou Harris in conversation with Jonathan Demme, Lou Adler, Michelle Phillips and Andrew Loog Oldham, Gilberto Gil, Booker T. Jones, Iggy Pop, Rickie Lee Jones, David Byrne, Marco Werman

2007
150 panel sessions & 450+ total speakers at SXSW Interactive | SXSW PanelPicker® is launched

150 panel sessions & 450+ total speakers at SXSW Interactive | SXSW PanelPicker® is launched

Keynotes: Kathy Sierra (wickedlysmart.com) (Opening Remarks), Limor Fried (ladyadda.net) & Phil Torrone (Make), Dan Rather (journalist) as interviewed by Jane Harmsher (firedoglake.com), Will Wright (Maxis), Bruce Sterling (author) (Closing Remarks). Notable Speakers: Justin Hall (links.net), Douglas Coupland (author), Tim Ferriss (author), Aza Raskin (humanized.com), Raph Koster (areae.net), James McNally (consolationchamps.com), Elisa Camahort (BlogHer). Notable Sessions: Non-Developers to Open Source Acolytes; Virtual Worlds and Virtual Humans; The Death of the Desktop

2008
Ice Cube - SXSW 2008 -Photo by Daniel Lewis

“In its 22 years, SXSW has grown from a tiny music festival in the Texas capital into a massive, unavoidable media beast that reflects, discusses and showcases trends in culture and media but also often creates them. The trends that have forced massive changes upon the music industry are lamented in some SXSW panel discussions even as they’re advanced and improved in others.” -National Post

2008
Ben Harper & Tom Morello at SXSW Music 2008

1,809 Showcasing Artists: Ice Cube, Bon Iver, Katy Perry, MGMT, R.E.M., Vampire Weekend & More

83 Venues & Stages | Notable Showcasing Artists: 127 (Tehran IRAN), David Banner (Jackson MS), Beangrowers (St. Julians MALTA), Bon Iver (Eau Claire WI), Billy Bragg (London UK), Debate (São Paulo BRAZIL), detroit7 (Tokyo JAPAN), Diplo (Philadelphia PA), Duffy (Wales UK), Fleet Foxes (Seattle WA), David Garza (Austin TX), Ice Cube (Hollywood CA), Jens Lekman (Gothenburg SWEDEN), MGMT (Brooklyn NY), Van Morrison (Dublin IRELAND), Nada Surf (Brooklyn NY), Katy Perry (Los Angeles CA), R.E.M. (Athens GA), Carrie Rodriguez (Austin TX), Mala Rodriguez (Cadiz SPAIN), She & Him (Los Angeles CA), The Soundtrack Of Our Lives (Gothenburg SWEDEN), The Ting Tings (Manchester UK), Vampire Weekend (New York NY), Volodja Balzalorsky (Ljubljana SLOVENIA), The Whigs (Athens GA), Wooden Shjips (San Francisco CA)

2008
The premiere of "21" at SXSW Film 2008

Keepin’ Austin Weird: Doug Benson premieres his pot doc Super High Me at 4:20pm at SXSW Film

Notable Speakers: Michael Eisner, Helen Hunt, Moby, Billy Bob Thornton. World Premiere Film Festival Highlights: A Necessary Death (Daniel Stamm), At the Death House Door (Steve James), Bi the Way (Josephine Decker), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Nicholas Stoller), In a Dream (Jeremiah Zagar), Medicine For Melancholy (Barry Jenkins), My Effortless Brilliance (Lynn Shelton), Nerdcore Rising (Negin Farsad), Nights and Weekends (Joe Swanberg & Greta Gerwig), The Pleasure of Being Robbed (Josh Safdie), They Killed Sister Dorothy (Daniel Junge), Woodpecker (Alex Karpovsky). Notable Talent: Kristen Bell, Russell Brand, Josh Brolin, John Cho, Neil Patrick Harris, Kal Penn, David Schwimmer, Jason Segel

2008
SXSW Music 2008 Keynote Speaker Lou Reed

Music Keynote: Lou Reed | 68 Panels, Workshops & Sessions

Notable Speakers: Steve Reich, Seymour Stein, Louis Messina, Danny Goldberg, Sean Moriarty, Ice Cube and DJ Pooh, Carrie Brownstein, Mick Jones and Tony James, Daryl Hall, Roky Erickson, Alan Parsons

2008
2008 Interactive Keynote room

Interactive Keynotes: Henry Jenkins (author) & Steven Johnson (FEED Magazine) (Opening Remarks), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) as interviewed by Sarah Lacey (BusinessWeek), Frank Warren (PostSecret), & Jane McGonigal (avantgame.com)

Notable Speakers: Andy Baio, Merlin Mann, Jonathan Coulton, Jeff Jarvis (BuzzMachine), Lynne d Johnson (Fast Company), Dan Roam (author), Jared Spool (User Interface Engineering), Dave McClure (500 Hats). Notable Sessions: Worst Website Ever; Startup Metrics for Pirates; Illusion to Simplify Design. Milestones & Highlights: Airbnb launches at SXSW 2008 with two customers, one of which was CEO Brian Chesky.

2009
Bun B at SXSW 2009

“The U.S. economy is in the grip of recession, but you wouldn’t know it from attending the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, a 10-day music, film, and interactive industry networking marathon fueled by massive quantities of beer and barbecue.” -Reuters

2009
Metallica at SXSW 2009

1,987 Showcasing Artists Including Kid Cudi, Metallica, Mumford & Sons, & Big Boi

88 Venues & Stages | Notable Showcasing Artists: Tori Amos (Los Angeles CA), …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (Austin TX), The Avett Brothers (Concord NC), Big Boi (Atlanta GA), Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears (Austin TX), Bomba Estereo (Bogota COLOMBIA), Bun B (Port Arthur TX), Camera Obscura (Glasgow UK), Choc Quib Town (Bogota COLOMBIA), Devo (Los Angeles CA), Justin Townes Earle (Nashville TN), Grupo Fantasma (Austin TX), Mayer Hawthorne & the County (Ann Arbor MI), Heartless Bastards (Cincinnati OH), Kid Cudi (Cleveland OH), Metallica (Los Angeles CA), Janelle Monae (Atlanta GA), The Moog (Budapest HUNGARY), Mumford & Sons (London UK), Primal Scream (Glasgow UK), Ra Ra Riot (Syracuse NY), Tinted Windows (New York NY), Tokyo Sex Destruction (Barcelona SPAIN), Patricia Vonne (Austin TX), We Were Promised Jetpacks (Glasgow UK)

2009
"I Love You Man" premiere at SXSW Film 2009

Lena Dunham debuts at SXSW Film with Creative Nonfiction & meets future collaborators for 2010’s Award Winning Tiny Furniture | Joe Swanberg’s Alexander the Last has first ever, day-and-date release at festival & on VOD.

Notable Speakers: Jan Harlan, Todd Haynes, Richard Linklater, Col Needham, Robert Rodriguez, Henry Selick, Jeffrey Tambor’s Acting Workshop, Mark Woollen. World Premiere Film Festival Highlights: 45365 (Ross Brothers), Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo (Jessica Oreck), Best Worst Movie (Michael Paul Stephenson), Breaking Upwards (Daryl Wein), Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be the Same (Jody Lee Lipes), I Love You, Man (John Hamburg), It was great but I was ready to come home (Kris Swanberg), Trust Us: This Is All Made Up (Alex Karpovsky), True Adolescents (Craig Johnson), Winnebago Man (Ben Steinbauer). Memorable Film Festival Screenings: Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow). Notable Talent: Jennifer Coolidge, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Amber Heard, George Kuchar, Spike Lee, Zoe Lister-Jones, Danny McBride, Sam Rockwell, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel

2009
Chris Anderson (author) & Guy Kawasaki at SXSW Interactive 2009

SXSW Accelerator pitch competition launches to serve the growing startup ecosystem at SXSW Interactive | Foursquare, Gowalla, & Uber Launch

Keynotes: Tony Hsieh (Zappos) (Opening Remarks), Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight.com) as interviewed by Stephen Baker (BusinessWeek), James Powderly (G.R.L.) as interviewed by Virginia Hefernan (New York Times Magazine), Chris Anderson (Wired, author, 3D Robotics) as interviewed by Guy Kawasaki (VC), Bruce Sterling (author) (Closing Remarks). Notable Speakers: John Gruber (Daring Fireball), Tom Serres (Piryx Inc), Werner Vogels (Amazon), Donna Kidwell (herdomain), Kellee Santiago (thatgamecompany), Michael Fertik (reputationdefender.com). Notable Sessions: Being Indie and Successful in the Video Game Industry; Politics, Technology, and Pop Culture; Digital Narc’ing

2009
Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight) at SXSW Interactive 2009

Music Keynote: Quincy Jones

79 Panels, Workshops & Sessions | Notable Speakers: Little Steven Van Zandt, Devo, Oak Ridge Boys, Tab Kubler and Craig Finn, Martin Atkins, Carlene Carter, Michael Ochs , Alexandra Patsavas, Rick Rogers, Panos Panay, Jarvis Cocker

2010
Cheap Trick, 2010. Photo by Scott Melcer

Miike Snow, Cheap Trick, Band Of Horses, Stone Temple Pilots, Paul Wall & More SXSW 2010 Showcasing Artists

1,978 Showcasing Artists, 89 Venues & Stages | Notable Showcasing Artists: Bajofondo (Buenos Aires ARGENTINA), Band Of Horses (Charleston SC), Best Coast (Los Angeles CA), BettySoo (Austin TX), Broken Bells with James Mercer (Los Angeles CA), Court Yard Hounds (Austin TX), Death (Detroit MI), Hole (New York NY), Wanda Jackson (Maud OK), Sarah Jarosz (Austin TX), Local Natives (Los Angeles CA), Man Or Astro-man? (Auburn AL), Marina & the Diamonds (London UK), Miike Snow (Stockholm SWEDEN), Nas and Damien “Jr Gong” Marley (Miami FL), Mumiy Troll (Vladivostok RUSSIA), Nneka (Warri NIGERIA), Peelander-Z (New York NY), Raphael Saadiq (Los Angeles CA), Stone Temple Pilots (Los Angeles CA), T. Bird and the Breaks (Austin TX), Thee Oh Sees (San Francisco CA), Ana Tijoux (Santiago CHILE), Toro y Moi (Columbia SC), Paul Wall (Houston TX), The xx (London UK), John Hiatt (Nashville TN). Milestones & Highlights: Big Star Tribute

2010
The premiere of "Kick-Ass" at the Paramount Theatre during SXSW Film 2010

Monsters and Marwencol and Ms. Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture, three very different world premieres, wow SXSW audiences and then the world.

Notable Speakers: Ruben Fleischer, Michel Gondry, David Gordon Green, Matt Reeves, Eli Roth, Gustavo Santaolalla, Gilbert Shelton, Jeffrey Tambor’s Acting Workshop, Ti West. World Premiere Film Festival Highlights: Cold Weather (Aaron Katz), Kick-Ass (Matthew Vaughn), MacGruber (Jorma Taccone), The Myth of the American Sleepover (David Robert Michell), Passenger Pigeons (Martha Stephens), Pelada (Luke Boughen, Rebekah Fergusson, Gwendolyn Oxenham, Ryan White), Putty Hill (Matthew Porterfield), Thunder Soul (Mark Landsman), Tiny Furniture (Lena Dunham). Notable Talent: Malin Akerman, Carrie Brownstein, Robert Duvall, Dakota Fanning, Will Forte, Judy Greer, Carla Gugino, Val Kilmer, Lemmy, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Ryan Phillippe, John C. Reilly, Chloe Sevigny, Sissy Spacek, Kristen Stewart, Patrick Wilson

2010
The 2010 SXSW Web Awards (hosted by Doug Benson)

Siri wins SXSW Accelerator “Innovative Web” category at SXSW Interactive

Interactive Keynotes: Danah Boyd (Microsoft Research) (Opening Remarks), Valerie Casey (Designers Accord), Ev Williams (Twitter) as interviewed by Umair Haque (Havas Media Lab), Daniel Ek (Spotify) as interviewed by Eliot Van Buskirk (Journalist) & Bruce Sterling (author) (Closing Remarks). Notable Speakers: Nicholas Carr (author), Dan Ariely (Duke University), Kim-Mai Cutler (VentureBeat), Veronica McGregor (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Kenyatta Cheese (rocketboom.tv), Perry Chen (Kickstarter)

2010
SXSW Music 2010 Keynote Speaker Smokey Robinson

Music Keynote: Smokey Robinson

89 Venues & Stages | Notable Speakers: Lemmy Kilmister, Cheap Trick, Derek Sivers, Feargal Sharkey, Mac McCaughan and Laura Balance, Andrew WK, Lenny Kaye, Hugh Padgham, Dr. Ike Padnos, Suzanne Vega, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, Clem Burke

2011
Outdoor Stage, 2011. Photo by Daniel Cavazos

“Started as a music industry conference 25 years ago, SXSW captures the quirky character of its host city … by integrating creative talent, early adopters and emerging media.” -Yahoo! Finance

2011
Charles Bradley and the Menahan Street Band at SXSW 2011

2,000+ Showcasing Artists at SXSW 2011

2,098 Showcasing Artists, 92 Venues & Stages | Notable Showcasing Artists: Talib Kweli (New York NY), Big Freedia (New Orleans LA), Nive Nielsen (Inuit GREENLAND), Psychic TV (New York NY), J. Cole (Fayetteville NC), B.o.B (Atlanta GA), Charles Bradley & Menahan Street Band (Brooklyn NY), Raphael Saadiq (Bay Area CA), Fitz and the Tantrums (Los Angeles CA), Queens of the Stone Age (Los Angeles CA), Richie Hawtin (Windsor CANADA), tUnE-YarDs (Oakland CA), TV on the Radio (Brooklyn NY), Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Jim James of My Morning Jacket (New Orleans LA), Skrillex (Los Angeles CA), Jamie Woon (London UK), Jamie xx (London UK), The Joy Formidable (London UK), Odd Future (Los Angeles CA), The Strokes (New York NY), James Blake (London UK), Wu-Tang Clan (Staten Island NY), Yelawolf (Gadsden AL), Deer Tick (Providence RI), Pains of Being Pure at Heart (New York NY), The Vaccines (London UK), Sharon Van Etten (Brooklyn NY)

2011
SXSW Music 2011 Keynote Speaker Bob Geldof

Music Keynote Speaker: Bob Geldof

181 Panels, Workshops & Sessions | Notable Speakers: Bobby Rush, Andrew W.K., Duran Duran, Yoko Ono, Martin Atkins, Liz Phair, Big Freedia

2011
2011 SXSW Film world premiere Undefeated wins the Oscar for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards.

2011 SXSW Film world premiere Undefeated wins the Oscar for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards.

Notable Speakers: Sandra Adair, Vera Farmiga, Ze Frank, James Gunn, Jake Gyllenhaal, Catherine Hardwicke, Duncan Jones, Tim League, Richard Linklater, Elvis Mitchell, Ellen Page, Todd Phillips, Randall Poster, Paul Reubens, Robert Rodriguez, Rainn Wilson. World Premiere Film Festival Highlights: Attack the Block (Joe Cornish), The Beaver (Jodie Foster), Bridesmaids (work-in-progress) (Paul Feig), Charlie Casanova (Terry McMahon), Dragonslayer (Tristan Patterson), Green (Sophia Takal), Kill List (Ben Wheatley), Natural Selection (Robbie Pickering), Paul (Greg Mottola), The Pee-Wee Herman Show on Broadway (Paul Reubens), Turkey Bowl (Kyle Smith), Weekend (Andrew Haigh). Notable Talent: Rosario Dawson, Mark Duplass, Elmo, Vera Farmiga, Foo Fighters, Jodie Foster, Nick Frost, Greta Gerwig, Paul Giamatti, Carla Gugino, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel Harris, Jake Johnson, Miranda July, Josh Lucas, Kate Lyn Sheil, Michelle Monaghan, Conan O’Brien, Ellen Page, Simon Pegg, Aubrey Plaza, Jason Ritter, Evan Ross, Amy Ryan, Amy Seimetz, Natalia Tena, Billy Bob Thornton, Ti West, Joss Whedon, Kristen Wiig, Rainn Wilson, Anton Yelchin

2011
Al Franken at SXSW Interactive 2011

Inaugural SXSWedu conference preceded SXSW Music, Film & Interactive in March 2011 | First SXSW Eco Conference Launched in Fall of 2011

Keynotes: Seth Priebatsch (SCVNGR), Christopher Poole (4chan/Canvas), Felicia Day (Knights of Good Productions) as interviewed by Liz Shannon Miller (GigaOm), Blake Mycoskie (TOMS Shoes), Bruce Sterling (author) (Closing Remarks). Notable Speakers: Marissa Mayer (Google), Matthew Haughey (MetaFilter), Josh Williams (Gowalla), Alex Williams (ReadWriteWeb), Todd Park (US Department of Health and Human Services (2011), Ethan Kurzweil (Bessemer Venture Partners), Jenn Maer (IDEO), Brian Chesky (Airbnb), June Cohen (TED)

2012
Jake Johnson, Mark Duplass, Aubrey Plaza & Karan Soni at the premiere of "Safety Not Guaranteed" at SXSW Film 2012

“Part musical festival, part film festival, part tech-head confab, SXSW is a unique event in the pop-culture firmament, bringing massive stars and indie up-and-comers in music, movies, and tech together in the Texas hill country of Austin.” -Entertainment Weekly

2012
Counting Crows, 2012. Photo by Debbie Finley

2,286 Showcasing Artists & 104 Stages

Notable Showcasing Artists: Jimmy Cliff (Kingston JAMAICA), Bruce Springsteen (Long Branch NJ), Lionel Richie (Los Angeles CA), Built to Spill (Boise ID), A$AP Rocky (New York NY), Rodriguez (Detroit MI), Santigold (Philadelphia PA), Purity Ring (Montreal CANADA), Blitzen Trapper (Portland OR), fun. (New York NY), The Jesus and Mary Chain (Glasgow UK), Cults (New York NY), Bob Mould (San Francisco CA), Timbaland (Miami FL), Ed Sheeran (Framlingham UK), Sleigh Bells (New York NY), Thomas Dolby (Suffolk UK), T.I. (Atlanta GA), Tenacious D (Los Angeles CA), Schoolboy Q (Los Angeles CA), Alabama Shakes (Athens AL), Fiona Apple (New York NY), The Shins (Albuquerque NM), Gary Clark Jr. (Austin TX), Poliça (Minneapolis MN), Norah Jones (New York NY), THEESatisfaction (Seattle WA), Juanes (Medellin COLOMBIA), The Lumineers (Denver CO)

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