SXSW Shifts Gears to Music Festival

BY Arts Desk  March 17, 2009 at 5:15 PM EDT

The gears are shifting in Austin, Texas, as the South by Southwest Interactive Festival wraps up and the live music capital of the world prepares for the start of the music festival on Wednesday.

The interactive, film and music festivals — all run independently of one another — give a chance for innovators to showcase upcoming trends in technology, provide a stage to more than 1,800 musical acts hoping to make it big and bring together the art and business of independent film.

PBS Engage set up an Interactive Social Media and Online Video Studio at the interactive festival to livestream interviews with filmmakers and interactive leaders. In one interview, video blogger Zadi Diaz talked to host/producer/writer Sarah Lane about applying lessons learned in traditional media to new media.

“The old way of doing things, telling a good story, knowing how to get a great shot, knowing how to cut out the bad parts, that sort of broadcasting 101, totally applies, totally still applies. Rules aren’t different….The trends have changed but you still got to have all that old stuff.”

To cover the music festival that kicks off Wednesday, our public broadcasting partners at NPR Music will be “webcasting, recording, photographing, videotaping and blogging” on their Web site.

As a preview, NPR’s All Songs Considered assembled a 100-song sampler of bands that will be appearing in Austin, along with a 10-song download of artists NPR is presenting.

[Check out Jeffrey Brown’s conversation with All Songs Considered’s Bob Boilen about this year’s musical offerings at SXSW.]

The NewsHour made the trip to Austin last year, but this year one of the ways we’ll watch the conversations is with Twitter, the self-proclaimed “service for discovering what’s happening right now” that had its breakthrough at SXSW in 2007.

A few tweets from Austin as the interactive conference wrapped up:

oscarmartinez: #sxsw Twitter was the big breakout at SXSW in 2007. What’s the next big thing being discussed now that MSM will be “discovering” in 2011?

cto_sxsw: Wow. When did the Zombies invade Austin… oh wait it’s just all the exhausted interactive people. #sxsw

dylanw: Sitting near the Legos, figuring out my final SXSW day.

And others, like us, expressing regret at sitting out SXSW 2009:

ericdamiestreet: jealous of everyone @ sxsw — i’ll be watching from the internet with lonestar and bbq