SXSW (short for South By Southwest) is an annual music industry event that takes place every spring in Austin, Texas. What began in the late eighties as a music industry conference drawing a few hundred record executives, radio programmers, and scenesters has grown into one of the largest music festivals in the United States. SXSW draws over 10,000 registered participants each year, with over 1500 bands performing at the four-day event.
Bands who have performed there over the years include everyone from veteran stars like Johnny Cash, Iggy And The Stooges, and Van Morrison to then up-and-comers like My Morning Jacket, Kings of Leon, Amy Winehouse, Bon Iver, and Vampire Weekend. Conference speakers have included Pete Townshend and David Byrne.
SXSW is the biggest revenue generating event of the year for Austin, and has also developed a well-earned reputation as a breeding ground for breaking new music talent. SXSW has as well expended its focus to both film and interactive media — Twitter was introduced at SXSW in 2007.