City Limits: A SXSW Preview

City Limits: A SXSW Preview

Mackenzie Farkus, Editor in Chief

South by Southwest (SXSW) returns March 13-22 in downtown Austin. This year, attendants can expect to see a wide variety of guests and features in music, film, and interactive events.

SXSW’s music portion of the festival, which lasts from March 17-22, is arguably the most popular attraction. Musical guests include AWOLNATION, Best Coast, The Maine, Marina and the Diamonds, The Ting Tings, and The Vaccines. Last year, Lady GaGa was SXSW’s keynote speaker for music.

For SXSW’s film festival, visitors can attend screenings of films, television shows, and can also watch presentations by keynote speakers. This year’s speakers include Ava DuVernay and Mark Duplass, with film screenings such as Ryan Gosling’s Lost River and Paul Feig’s Spy. The film festival, which is by far the longest SXSW event, will start March 13 and end on March 21.

SXSW’s interactive events range from the latest in technology and gaming to comedy showcases, and occurs March 13-17. Charles Barkley and Alison Bechdel are two of the hundreds of speakers SXSW will have during the interactive festival. In past years, Julian Assange and Kevin Bacon have appeared as SXSW speakers.

While tickets can be pricey, there are always free events surrounding SXSW. Last year, for instance, Foster the People gave a free performance to a packed crowd at the outdoor stage at Butler Park. The 1975, popular for their songs “Chocolate” and “Sex”, played a free show at Waterloo Records as well. Many of the interactive sessions, conferences, and exhibits – including the gaming convention – are also free.

Keep an eye out for any announcements SXSW has in the weeks prior to the festival even if you don’t have tickets, because there’s a chance that you might catch your favorite band or see a screening for free.