Austin, Texas' South By Southwest Festival 2007 is upon us and once again, the organizers have made hundreds of MP3s available that you can stream, download individually, or download in one shot as a torrent.
The festival is really three festivals in one: interactive, music, and film. The music festival has been around since 1987 and is one of the premiere industry events in the US and the same parent company also runs the North By Northeast (NXNE) event in Toronto. It takes place March 14 – 18, 2007 and features approximately 1400 bands in over 50 venues. Many of these artists are unknown but there are several industry veterans included to keep the mix healthy.
Notable speakers for the 2007 music festival include Iggy Pop, David Byrne ("Record Companies: Who Needs Them?"), Emmylou Harris, Rickie Lee Jones, and the Keynote Speaker, Pete Townsend of The Who. Some of the best-known performers out of the 1400 bands appearing include Bloc Party, Interpol, The Hoodoo Gurus, Donovan, Thurston Moore, Graham Parker,and The Stooges. You can view the listings of the bands and stream or download individual MP3s from this SXSW website.
The film and interactive festivals were launched in 1994 and tis year's festival, which runs March 9 – 13, 2007, is one of the top events that focuses on new talent. Most of the films are either regional or world premieres.
Not one to put all their eggs in one basket, the interactive festival (March 9 – 13, 2007) sounds like a companion to Wired magazine. 75 year-old journalist Dan Rather was one this year's main speakers at this event. He said, "Attracting digital creative as well as visionary technology entrepreneurs, the SXSW Interactive Festival enables you to connect, discover and inspire your link to the cutting edge. The SXSW Interactive Festival offers five days of panels, keynote discussions, trade show and exhibition, and exciting evening events. Attendees benefit from hands-on, how-to training as well as long-term, big-picture analysis in an atmosphere that charges creativity and out-of-the-box thinking."
Previous speakers have included Mark Cuban, Thomas Dolby, Richard Florida, Al Franken, Philip Glass, Jaron Lanier (virtual reality), Todd Rundgren, DJ Spooky, Joe Trippi and Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia and on the cover of the current issue of Fast Company.)
Visit this SXSW site for news about the torrent for film trailers, once it's available.