South by Southwest – Austin, Texas, U.S.A.

A Citywide Party in the Live Music Capital of the World

Casual, young, and fun-loving, Austin promotes itself as the Live Music Capital of the World. The city is defined by many things, but music reigns here, both as a business and a pastime. More than 100 live-music venues offer everything from rockabilly to Tejano, and it’s not unusual to catch imprompt appear­ances by local talents Willie Nelson,

Lyle Lovett, the Dixie Chicks, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Sixth Street, lined with Victorian buildings, is the city’s year-round music nerve center. Rock ’n’ roll, blues, jazz, country, and R & B emanate and blend from clubs that spill down every side street. There’s the world-renowned Antone’s, an institution for names both world-known and obscure; the Backyard, an old-time spot that presents big-name shows outdoors; the Broken Spoke, Texas’s premier dance hall and the last word in Texas two-step; and Stubb’s BBQ and Threadgill’s, both loved for their combination of great food and great music – Threadgill’s (a former gas station turned diner) is where Janis Joplin got her start in 1962.

The city’s annual musical climax is the famous South by Southwest Music and Media Festival, known as SXSW, a showcase for more than 1,000 fledgling musicians who come from all over the world hoping to be discovered by industry bigwigs. It’s a ten-day trade show for the music, film, and interactive media industries, but music lovers looking for the new and edgy enjoy four jam-packed days and nights of music.

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