The Growing Reputation of SXSW

Newspaper Clipping; Home on the Strange: SXSW: A Texas weekend of the weird, the wild, and the rockin'

Newspaper clipping featuring South by Southwest in Rolling Stone

For the first couple of years, South by Southwest was mostly contained to Austinites and Texans. A few people crossed state borders to visit the festival, but it was still a new event. Less than a decade old, this all changed. In 1993, Rolling Stone reported on SXSW, demonstrating how much growth occurred in such a small period of time. In the clipping, a brief overview of the festival is given, highlighting the diversity of musical acts showcased. This newspaper clipping is significant as it demonstrates South by Southwest's growing reputation as it broke into the mainstream media by being mentioned in a recognizable, national publication. It was becoming a household name. Not only was SXSW highlighted in Rolling Stone, but it was a positive review. This publicity contributed to the growth of SXSW as more people were exposed to the festival and chances increased of people traveling to Austin in order to participate in future festivals. 

While SXSW had once only reached the local community, it was now hosting visitors and artists from across the globe. In this German news clipping, an interview takes place, discussing what it means to be successful at SXSW. At its conception, the founders of SXSW wanted the festival to be a place for a range of artists, and the festival remained true to that goal. By hosting SXSW, attendees are introduced to artists they may not have otherwise encountered. Due to the growing reputation of SXSW, these artists gained publicity. This growing reputation continued to benefit the festival, even as recently as 2020. When the pandemic struck, SXSW was able to partner with Amazon's streaming service in order to hold a virtual iteration of the festival. Festivals could either cancel or adapt to the circumstances in 2020. SXSW chose to find alternate options for hosting the festival, and they actually remained fully online for the 2021 rendition as well. Not all festivals could afford to switch platforms, but due to the influence and capital that SXSW had, they were able to leverage it to their advantage.