How Did We Get Here? A Look Back At SXSW History

Audio-Technica SXSW

The greatest minds of the country all meet at one mega event: South by Southwest (SXSW). Comprised of music, interactive and film festivals and conferences in the trendy city of Austin, Texas, SXSW is a force to be reckoned with. But how exactly did this convergence of artistry and tech come to fruition?

SXSW dates back to 1987, when the inaugural festival, held in the city of Austin that it is still known for, was billed as “An opportunity for people in the music business and alternative media in this [Austin] region and nationally to meet and share ideas about mutual interests.SXSW 2015

Despite not even cracking the Top 20 markets in the United States at the time, Austin was chosen as the host city for SXSW due in large part to the eclectic music scene and vibrant nightlight the city had to offer.

The organizers expected roughly 150 attendees that first year, but to their surprise some 700 music lovers showed up to take part in the new Austin festival.

The Evolution of SXSW

SXSW started as a way for the thriving music scene in Austin to show itself off to the world, opening many doors and opportunities for Austin musicians who might otherwise feel detached from the national and international music business.

As the years went on, SXSW kept growing in size and drawing interest from the top music professionals around the world. This once isolated Central Texas city made its way into the mainstream, earning Austin the title “Live Music Capital of the World.”

SXSW 15Like many other annual events, various history-making moments have helped catapult SXSW to the fore, giving it the opportunity to evolve into an international gathering that celebrates music, technology, art, and film. From Johnny Cash’s keynote address in 1994 to the Flaming Lips’ “parking lot experiment” in 1997, SXSW became the place you had to be.

Every March thousands of attendees are attracted to the three major components of the event, making the city of Austin a mecca for innovation and art. It’s estimated that SXSW 2014 brought over $300 million to the Austin economy.

Audio-Technica Hits the SXSW Streets

If you’re one of the lucky ones to experience all that SXSW has to offer, be sure to check out the many SXSW events A-T is a part of this year!

Don’t forget to also keep your eyes peeled for the Audio-Technica Street Team and Headphone Balloon Twisters today (Thursday, March 19) through Saturday! We’ll see you out there!

SXSW Audio-Technica

Are you currently in Austin at SXSW 2015? Which events do you plan on attending? Tell us in the comments below!


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