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March - South by Southwest Music & Media Conference , USA

USA | Tuesday, 10 February 2009 | Views [1461]

Location: Venues throughout Austin, USA. The trade show is in the Austin Convention Center.

Dates: Dates vary in early to mid-March

Level of Participation: 5 – roll through the Convention Center by day and rock at night

Description: Here’s further proof that things really are big in Texas, with a music festival so large it has almost single-handedly earned Austin the title of ‘live music capital of the world’. Started in 1987, it brings the music industry and performers together for 10 days – bands come to be discovered and music execs come to discover. During the day, industry buffs head to the Austin Convention Center to talk shop at a trade show, and by night more than 1200 acts perform at 50 or so venues across the city. Coupled to the music festival, SXSW has swelled in recent years to include a film festival and conference and a festival for interactive media.

Essentials: Registering for a Platinum Badge (around $800 to $1100, depending on how far ahead you buy it) gets you into all three trade shows, conferences, screenings, clubs and VIP lounges. A Music Badge ($500 to $650) allows entry into the music conference, trade show and nightly gigs.

Travel Safety Advice From The World Nomads Travel Safety Hub: You might think "Safety concerns, at a music conference? Huh?" But oddly enough, there are. SXSW is becoming one of the must-do music festivals in the United States, and as a result a huge throng of human traffic increases in volume year after year.

While there haven't been any reported serious incidents, a surge of 20-30 percent attendance has prompted Austin officials to check that "all vendors, merchants, event holders and property owners are in compliance with municipal safety codes."

Some people have said that the crowd surges in previous years have led to cause for concern.

"It got out of control," said, Michael Mansfield, a SXSW attendee who got caught up in a particularly out of control crowd swell. 

"I was literally swept off my feet. And when I started feeling people push forward, I knew this was going to be bad."

Realistically however, SXSW is a very safe festival - it's just that you'll need to be prepared for heavy crowds. Make sure you drink plenty of water and try your best to stay away from areas that look like they could be swelling to potentially dangerous levels. Also, it's easy to get swept away in the moment - but with a high trafficked event like this, with lots of people, cars, bicycles and god knows what else, you just need to be on the look out.

Local Attractions: If you want more live music just spend an ordinary day in Austin, where bands regularly play at supermarkets, record shops – even at the airport. The Texas State Capitol is 5m taller than the US Capitol.

More Info: sxsw.com

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Information provided courtesy of Lonely Planet
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Tags: austin, music festival, south by southwest, usa, world festivals

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