Dispatches from SXSW in Austin

Techies, musicians, film geeks, starry-eyed start-ups and major corporations have descended on the state capital for ten days of networking, creative exchange and, admittedly, a lot of free drinks.

It’s South by Southwest (SXSW) time again in Austin.

Since it’s not exactly a hop and a skip to the festival from West Texas, we’ll be bringing you regular dispatches from our reporter and documentary filmmaker Karen Bernstein.

Check back here or tune in during Morning Edition, weekdays 5 – 9 am, for the latest from the festival’s film, interactive and music events. (And if you’re looking for more ways to experience SXSW without actually being there, NPR has this helpful guide.)

Tuesday, March 24

Today we take a look back at SXSW, which wrapped up on Sunday.

Was the festival bigger this year? Smaller? How has it changed? Those questions and a look at one of the big controversies to hit Austin during this year’s festival.

Thursday, March 19

Texas Monthly recently looked into whether this year’s SXSW is less “branded” than in recent years. After all, there’s nary a giant Doritos machine to be found in Austin this year.

For our latest dispatch from the festival, we dig into that question, and take a look at the music portion of SXSW that’s now underway.

Tuesday, March 17

The interactive and film portions of SXSW have been underway for a few days now, and Tuesday bands from across the country descend on downtown Austin.

There’s a question in the air of whether the festival’s tech-oriented panel sessions have reached “peak innovation” – can the festival still incubate and explode small startups onto the national stage like it did with Twitter a few years ago, or are those days over?

Also in our latest dispatch: a preview of SXSW Music, which got underway Tuesday, and we hear about our own Joe Nick Patoski’s new film Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove – a documentary on the life of Texas music legend Doug Sahm. The film debuts Thursday night at the Paramount Theatre.

(Patoski’s program the Texas Music Hour of Power can be heard every Saturday night on Marfa Public Radio from  7 – 9 pm.)

Monday, March 16

We kick off our coverage with a look at the big question on the minds of commentators, fans and festival organizers alike: has Southby gotten out of hand, or perhaps simply outgrown itself?

About Travis Bubenik

Morning Edition Host & Reporter
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