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What is SXSW & What Makes it Special?

It's been a few weeks since SXSW rolled through Austin... and I'm still talking about it wherever I go. So I thought I'd write a post about SXSW and my top three experiences as a first-time badge-holder.

What is SXSW?

If you already know, skip to my next post, my top three experiences...

Maybe you've heard it called "South by" or "South by Southwest." Maybe you've never heard of it at all. In a nutshell, SXSW is a 14 day music, film, and technology festival hosted during Spring Break in downtown Austin. 250,000+ people (including 2,000 bands) flock to Austin during these two weeks hoping to learn, share, meet, watch, and listen.

*Fun fact: SXSW started in the 1987 when bar owners on 6th street decided to do something about their worst week of the year, Spring Break. All the college kids left and nobody was buying booze! Now, 30 years later it's the biggest week of the year. Talk about a turnaround.

You can do like I did in past years, and see plenty of free shows without a wristband or bad. But to see the best, you need a wristband, or even better, a badge.

Why does anyone care about SXSW?

SX, as I refer to it, is the who's who of thought leaders, mold-breakers, up-and-coming artists, innovative educators, and Elon Musk*. Name someone you respect, watch, or listen to, and it's likely they have come to SX to share their talent.

*Elon will be mentioned several times throughout, not only because we share a birthday, but also because I admire his visionary leadership. Plus, his biography indirectly inspired me to start life coaching.

SXSW 2018 Interactive Technology Conference Austin with Life Coach Bryan Daigle

What makes SX special?

Two words, four syllables - that I may or may not have coined - SX Magic. [I stole this term from my hiking experiences, where "trail magic" was a term used to represent unexplainable coincidences and demonstrations of the human spirit.] While SX Magic is best experienced in-person, maybe by sharing my top three SX experiences you can get a taste of some pixie dust.

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