The Coolest Girl Band on the Planet and SXSW

by | Mar 9, 2012 04:59 PM ET

Al Franken, SXSW Interactive 2011, Credit: Amy Price

I'm pretty certain that in a past life I must have been a musician. I'm not sure what kind -- or if I was even successful. But given the amount of time in this life I've spent listening to music and going to concerts, there must be the soul of a musician trapped inside me desperately trying to escape. And after years of piano lessons, I can still play only one song -- and not that well -- so I can see why the poor soul is frantic to flee.

That's why a massive music festival like SXSW in Austin, Texas amazes me. It brings together more than 2,000 artists from over 55 countries playing all different genres of music. And SXSW has been holding the music portion of the festival since 1987. It started with just 700 participants as a way for Austin musicians to make contacts with the rest of music world. It got so huge, though, that in 1994, it expanded to include Film and Interactive festivals, as well, and this year SXSW expects more than 16,000 people between March 9 and 18. Incredible!

The problem with that, though, is it can be incredibly overwhelming if you've never been, because there's so much to see and do. Because Kathryn and I traveled via podcast to SXSW Music as our alter egos, The Coolest Girl Band on the Planet, we wanted to dedicate our blog to the film and interactive portions, as well as give you links to other helpful information if you're on your way to Austin.

Film

March 9 -17, 2012

Over nine days, 130 features will screen at SXSW 2012, including 51 films from first-time filmmakers.

  • Monday, March 12, the world premiere of Colombia Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures' "21 Jump Street"
  • Saturday, March 17, Emmett Malloy's documentary "Big Easy Express" is the closing night film

Interactive

March 9-13, 2012

The event features five days of presentations from the best in emerging technology, tons of networking events, and a schedule of programs showcasing new Web sites, video games and startup ideas.

  • New SXSW Startup Village: The place for startups, venture capitalists/investors, media and other entrepreneurs to gather for panels and mentoring/coaching sessions
  • SXSW ScreenBurn: The gaming component, which includes talks from game designer, animator and design educator Katie Salen, and Jane McGonigal, Ph.D., a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games

More Helpful SXSW Links

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