Looking for a model downtown music festival?
Check out Austin’s South by Southwest, better known as SXSW. Is it a music and media conference and festival, an interactive technology festival or a film conference and festival? Yes. The music festival is one of the biggest in the U.S., and possibly the biggest in the heart of a city.
Much of it takes place on Sixth Street, one of Austin’s premiere entertainment districts and closed for pedestrians. Ongoing since spring 1987, the event focuses on new and emerging talent. What’s the big deal? Check out the statistics – first the ‘content’, then the economic impact.
– Showcasing Acts: 1331
– Music Venues Participating: 58
– Music Conference Participants: 8,604 (with band registrations 9,692)
– Approximate Number of Music Media in Attendance: 1,866
– Approximate Number of Music Trade Show Attendees: 11,000
– Number of Films Screened: 180
– Film Conference Participants: 3,807
– Approximate Number of Film Media in Attendance: 459
– Interactive Conference Participants: 3,343
– Approximate Number of Film/Interactive Trade Show Attendees: 8,000
– Music Conference: $21 million
– Film/Interactive Conference: $9.9 million
– All Three Conferences: $30.9 million
– Music venue revenues increase on the average of 45% over their next highest month, with similar increases at restaurants, bars, etc.
SXSW is very cool, but East 6th street isn’t a neighborhood at all. Just a few high priced lofts there. And outside of SXSW it’s more of a shot bars for frat boys type strip. I think the creative class types are elsewhere.
Any ideas on where the creative class types are hanging out in Austin?
If you mean hang out (as opposed to live) I suppose there are a few creative type place near 6th, but I’d say South Congress has more, and West 6th and the Warehouse district. More condos are going in downtown, but I’d say Bouldin (bordering SoCo) is the main creative class neighborhood, but a lot of people are moving into East Austin because Bouldin is getting too pricey. Hyde Park also has creative types who are still in grad school…