The 30th annual SXSW festival debuts today and that means Austin, TX just turned into a melting pot of the world’s best innovators, musicians, actors and everyone in between. As someone who attended last year, it can be overly stimulating and chaotic, yet an incredibly inspiring experience. Here are a few must-sees.
Leaders of the Free World Speakers
The White House is making an appearance in the form of Barrack and Michelle Obama. Both the President and his first lady will be making speeches at the opening of the Interactive festival. And if politics isn’t your thing, check out what JJ Abrams, the Director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has to say. Either way, the speakers at this year’s SXSW have taken it up a notch.
The Future of Technology
This is the year of virtual reality, artificial intelligence and self-driving cars. For years these subjects were just prototypes, and now they are ready for the world to see. The VR expo gives attendees a shot at trying out a VR experience before it hits the public.
As always, SXSW brings discussion for businesses, large and start-up alike. If you are a start-up looking for inspiration, Yik Yak talks about its growing pains and perseverance. There are marketing agencies speaking out about their VC efforts to invest in clients as well as discussions on consumers and their changing behaviors. The business venues are packed with substance.
A significant amount of energy is being put on ethics and the earth this year, from sustainability to anti-harassment and bullying. Large brands are becoming health conscious like Starbucks and The Honest Company, and influencers like Ashley Graham are standing up for self-respect and self-esteem. Definitely a positive and motivating segment for awareness and change.
It all started as a music festival, and this marks the 30th year for new musicians and artists making their debut at SXSW. How to celebrate? How about showcasing over 550 artists in five days. Listen to big and small names alike. Catch a performance from the infamous ROOTS or see new and upcoming artists ready to break out.
And lastly but definitely not least, you can always head on over to see Pee Wee Herman. That’s right, Pee Wee is back with a new installment on Netflix and where else is better to promote it than SXSW.