News / USA

SXSW Attracts Musicians, Filmmakers from Around the World

SXSW Attracts Musicians, Filmmakers From Around the Worldi
X
March 16, 2013 9:53 PM
The annual South by Southwest Festival is reaching its climax this weekend in Austin, Texas, where tens of thousands of participants and visitors are in the streets with thousands of local people who have just come for the party. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Austin, this is a three-part event that combines serious business and constant entertainment.

SXSW Attracts Musicians, Filmmakers From Around the World

Greg Flakus
The annual South by Southwest Festival is reaching its climax this weekend in Austin, Texas, where tens of thousands of participants and visitors are in the streets with thousands of local people who have just come for the party. This is a three-part event that combines serious business and constant entertainment.

South by Southwest is known for its exuberance and its mingling of business and pleasure.

While the music blares from several nearby venues, a delegation from Chile holds an event to bring together interactive media and computer program designers with investors.

The organizer of one event is Horacio Melo of Start Up Chile, a Chilean government program. “This is a good opportunity to find more investors and different players who play a role in start-up assistance," he said.

South by Southwest started in 1987 as a local music festival that drew around 700 people. It now attracts thousands from around the world for interactive media discussions, film screenings and, of course, music.

One of the locals who has participated since the beginning is entertainment lawyer Stephen Easley “An entire city is almost not big enough anymore to hold South by Southwest, it has become so huge and sprawling," he said.  “As it has broadened, its impact on popular culture has become almost immeasurable.”

South by Southwest has become the biggest event of its kind in the world. This is where many films now get their first boost and many musical groups find agents, producers and record deals.

Groups from Asia, Europe and Africa play here.

But you can also hear a lot of Texas music.

Popular Austin-based singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves attended South By Southwest in 1990 and decided right then to leave his home in Maine and become a Texas singer. "That is exactly what I came to Austin for is to work with great musicians and studios and fellow songwriters," he said.

Over the ten days of the festival, there are hundreds of official festival concerts, but Cleaves says many visitors prefer the events outside the festival zone. “If you do not want to do the main part of the festival, you know, the entire town turns into a festival. I am doing seven or eight showcases this week, not a single official one, they are all sort of unofficial," he said.

For musicians like Slaid Cleaves, Austin is a great place to play, whether there is a festival or not.

 

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid