South by Southwest is a conference that has been taking place every Spring since 1987, and is comprised of three segments: Music, Movies, and Interactive Technologies. This year over 2,000 bands performed on 80 stages throughout downtown Austin, Texas. Hundreds of movies, short films, and documentaries were shown throughout the duration of nine days, and hundreds of companies displayed their up and coming trends and technologies to around 11,000 tech savvy attendees. I think it goes without saying that even if you were there, a summary of everything occurring within SXSW this year would be helpful. So here is a quick round up of the best of the best.
Let’s start with the music portion of SXSW. Some of the more well known acts that moseyed down to Austin for the week included Kanye West, Bon Iver, Jay-Z, Bright Eyes, Yoko Ono, Jack White, TV on the Radio, Big Boi, The Strokes, The Vaccines, Snoop Dog, and too many more to name. The not so well known, but buzz worthy bands included Foster the People, Theophilus London, James Blake, Seryn, Young the Giant, The Head and the Heart. In case I missed a few, Stereo Gum has a team of well informed hipsters that put together this longer list.
The stand out films for SXSW’s movie segment included Blue Valentine, which won the Excellence in Design and Audience Award, and Natural Selection which won for best director, editing, score/music, and best screenplay in the Narrative Feature category. A documentary named DragonSlayer, seemingly portrayed a 2011 version of the Dog Town Z Boys, and won Best Cinematography and Best Documentary. I also have to cast some light on an interesting documentary that spoke about the potentially negative effects the large amounts of constant illumination our cities cast through out the night, The City Dark.
The big winners at SXSW Interactive were highlighted by the “SXSW Accelerator BizSpark Awards”. All of the finalists can be seen here. After each finalist presented their technologies to the BizSpark panel, awards were handed out for the best News, Web, Entertainment, and Social Media technologies. For the best News Related Technology, Storify was given the award. For the innovative Web Technology award, Hipmunk was chosen as best in class. The best Entertainment Technology this year went to Tango. The leader in Social Media & Social Networking Technologies this year went to PopVox.
If you were there let me know what I missed below. Thanks for reading!