SXSW Crowds Here for Next Ten Days
SXSW has opened the gates to a wave of creative minds that will flood this city for the next 10 days. People were trickling into the Austin Convention Center Thursday and the crowds are slowly building. Gibb Brownlie is a multimedia artist who came all the way from Rhode Island.
Brownlie said, “Where else can you go in the country and infuse yourself with this kind of energy?”
South by Southwest Interactive gets underway tomorrow. It focuses on social media and technology. South by Interactive director Hugh Forrest says attendance this year has increased more than 30 percent over last year, which was a record breaker.
”[It’s] Had a very long incubation period and finally kind of hatched a few years back, and now is fairly self-sufficient,” Forrest said.
This year for the first time, all of the keynote speeches and some of the panel discussions will be streamed live online for free.
Of course for many people who live in Austin, South by Southwest means one thing: downtown commuting nightmare. Leah Fillion is with the Austin Transportation Department.
“Last year we had about 185,000 visitors during South by Southwest, so it’s our goal to balance the needs of those visitors – because it’s really important to have them come into town – but also balance the needs of people that are living here,” Fillion said.
Most of the downtown street closures don’t take effect till next Wednesday. You can find a Google Map of the closures here.