South by Southwest, also known as SXSW, will be hitting Austin for its 2014 festival. South by Southwest is a film, music, and interactive festival held yearly in Austin, Texas. It is the largest festival of its kind in North America. It runs from March 7-16th, with this year’s film and interactive portions of the festival kicking of March 7th. The music portion of the festival will begin on March 11th, with over 2,000 acts expected to perform.
The South by Southwest festival began as a music festival in 1987. Austin had been known for its eclectic music scene, yet its isolation from the musical meccas of the world made it hard for the musical talent to reach the masses. The idea of South by Southwest was to bring the masses to Austin. Thus the beginning of SXSW in 1987; it was the second year that really set SXSW on the map by attracting international acts. And it was in 1994 that the festival added the film and interactive conferences, which then gave the festival its unique all-encompassing draw. Their idea of bringing creative people to Austin in order to help one another grow within their industries catapulted into what is now one of the most recognized festivals in the world.
The film portion of the festival will encompass 130 films, opening night will have the grand premier of the Jon Favreau film Chef, in which Favreau plays an out of work chef that opens a food truck. The film version of the famous television show Veronica Mars will also premier at the festival. This film will surely draw many fans given it was funded by the television shows huge following who demanded the film be made. Seth Rogan’s Neighbors starring Zac Efron will also have its world premiere at South by Southwest. The film is a comedy that follows a couple with a newborn who find themselves living next to a fraternity house. There is also a new aspect to the festival this year; it is to also premier television series’. Among the premiers is Robert Rodriguez’s who will be premiering the television version of his film From Dusk Till Dawn; with the series being titled From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.
One of the most expected guests at the 2014 SXSW will be giving a web speech. The guest is the most famous whistleblower in history, Edward Snowden. Who is said to be hiding in Russia. His speech will be in regards to the US government leaks, surveillance, and online privacy.
Jimmy Kimmel will also move his show to Austin during the festival. He will be interviewing SXSW attendees Seth Rogen, Snoop Dog, Rosario Dawson, Robert Duvall and many more. Willie Nelson will also be performing on his show during the week. The musical portion of the festival will draw over 2,000 musical acts that include internationally established artist as well as up and comers. The iTunes Festival at SXSW will be doing free live streams all week of performances by Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar, Soundgarden, Capital Cities, Pitbull, and Keith Urban among others.
South by Southwest 2014 will be the mecca for celebrities, the creative, and those who share artistic passions. It is a place to network, share ideas, successes, novelties, and exiting things coming in the future. Austin, Texas will be the place to be this next week.
Opinion By Dony Lugo