SXSW Austin Draws 100,000: 2000 Bands, $100 Million, Debut Films
At this year’s 24th SXSW festival almost 100,000 people came out in droves to witness 2000 musical acts from 40 countries and all of that made for buzz and bucks.
Audiences came out for the newest and most interesting releases in independent film and music and round-the-clock interactive media conferences. Music industry representatives also made their share of appearances – in record numbers.
... a record 13,022 music industry professionals registered. Acts like Courtney Love's band Hole and the Stone Temple Pilots used the festival as a springboard to end a multi-year hiatus from performing live.
Since 1987, when SXSW began, the festival has quietly become the very best of what contemporary music has to offer.
With 2010 now in the books, pumping nearly $100 million dollars into the local Austin, Texas economy, could we again be riding a wave that returns music to the people? Are we see a renaissance as in the 60s, late 70s and early 90s?
How Music Has Changed in 24 Years
In recent years, the industry has seen iTunes and MySpace dictate how people get their hands on music. It has seen a growing distrust of the corporate music giants (the ones still left) and now Twitter is allowing people to spread the musical word.
Social networking is allowing music lovers to break geographical boundaries and document everything as it unfolds – the music scene truly is global.
Not only can you hear music on the radio, online, on phones and on CDs, but musicians now are increasingly trying to get their tunes onto TV shows, in films, and as soundtracks to video games. But despite the distribution options, the bottom line is still talent.
While everything has changed, ultimately the bottom line is you need a good artist, great music and an audience that wants to buy it," said Phil Patterson, who formerly worked for record labels like EMI and RCA and represented musicians like David Bowie and Billy Idol. "That hasn't changed since the day.
Whether the music industry decides to listen or not, more people are writing about music and have more access to music than ever before – our computers are virtually our own personal record store.
Although the music industry has changed, music itself and those who pursue it remains as healthy as ever.