SXSW Interactive is one of the most attended conferences of the year for tech and media types, with 30,000 conference participants flooding Austin. But in recent years, the cost of an official interactive badge has gone up considerably and many are attending unofficial SXSW parties and related events that do not require badges. For people who have never attended SXSWi, it’s good to go with a badge at least one year — the depth and breadth of content discussed across hundreds of panels and sessions can be as valuable and high quality as the networking you’ll do. However, it gets redundant year after year. In past years I’ve attended the music portion of SXSW as well — this is incredibly fun and far fewer people spend time in the actual convention center. Why would you with all the amazing day parties and live music showcases across sunny Austin? Here’s a shortlist of unofficial events that I’ve RSVP’d for this year. For more info and discovery of unofficial SXSW parties I recommend Sched.org, do512, and Unofficial SXSW Guide.
Want to meet up in Austin? I’ll be there from March 6-12. Hit me up!
American Express must have thrown down seven figures plus to book Jay-Z into the pristine Moody Theater in the Austin W complex but it managed to monopolize the buzz — at least for the hmoment — at SXSW Interactive. Jay-Z performed for just under two hours, doing 24 songs (full-length as opposed to the medley format favored on the Watch the Throne tour) cherry-picked from his deep repertoire. Amex flew in Jay and likely a planeload of entourage for this one-off event. I was fortunate to get a spot up close and snapped a ton of photos (only a few of which were worth posting).
SXSW seems to have a dearth of hip-hop on its schedule and this event was not an official part of the conference itself (though it got plenty of love as Amex is a SXSW sponsor). But let’s not kid ourselves, Jay-Z may be the greatest rapper alive but he’s every bit as much of a pop star today as he is hip-hop. The show was also simulcast within the W, on a big screen on Red River and on YouTube (watch on demand here). Photos, video and setlist below.
The highlight of my long weekend at South by Southwest Interactive was the lunchtime panel and mixer hosted by Tikva Morowati of Porter Novelli and Jeff Pulver at Stubb’s — Social Media for the Social Good.
(l-r) Jeff Pulver, Beth Kanter, Stacey Monk, David Armano, Randi Zuckerberg, James Young, Scott Goodstein,Tikva Morowati