Film, Music and Tech to Take Over Austin Once Again at SXSW 2017
South by Southwest is the epitome of Austin, Texas; a wholly embraced version of what the city represents. March 10-19, SXSW will invite creative types from all over the world to join in the festivities. The most popular areas of the 10-day event include music, film, entertainment and technology, but other notable aspects include conferences in the fields of design, health, government, food, journalism, marketing, startups and even virtual reality.
The music portion of the event runs from March 13-19 in various bars, clubs, parks, churches and hotels. More than 2,200 performers have been booked about 70 countries. Notable acts include the neo-soul singer Autre Ne Veut, indietronica musician The Chain Gang of 1974, hip-hop twosome The Cool Kids, rapper Goldlink, New York experimental pop duo Lewis Del Mar, long-standing indie giants Minus the Bear, electro folk artist NoMBe, Austrian alt-R&B singer Sohn and rock band Sundara Karma. Other acts include Aminé, Agnes Obel, Chicano Batman, Modern English, Savoy Motel, VHS Collection, and the Warbly Jets.
On the music influencers side, DJ/Radio Host Zane Lowe of Beats 1 will speak on March 16. Lowe was once host of the renowned BBC Radio 1 show in the UK, having since moved to head up Apple’s newly formed Beats 1 digital station in Los Angeles. Legendary funk guitarist Nile Rodgers will speak on March 15. This Grammy Award-winning composer was the leader of Chic, worked with David Bowie, and more recently and Daft Punk on the 2013 hit song “Get Lucky.” In addition, television show host Rachel Ray will lead an industry discussion with insider Gary Graff of Billboard. Eccentric artist interviewer Nardwuar of Vancouver, B.C., will speak on behalf of his extensive catalog of interviews, which have included everyone from Jay-Z and Weird Al Yankovic to Mikhail Gorbachev and Nirvana.
Film of course will once again have its place at SXSW by way of world premieres and the like. “Song to Song”, the new film by director Terrence Malick, will be shown. This story about two intertwined couples (played by Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender) in the music industry takes place in Austin, making it an ideal screening. “Baby Driver” will also premier, directed by Edgar Wright and starring Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx.
Lee Daniels is scheduled to speak. Daniels is most famous for his 2013 film “The Butler,” starring Forest Whitaker, about a servant in the White House whose working life spanned eight presidencies. Actress Kathryn Hahn will also speak on her career. Hahn is a comedy actor who performed in “Step Brothers” and “We’re the Millers” while transforming her prowess to include drama roles such as 2016’s “Captain Fantastic” and the Amazon television show “Transparent.”
The interactive festival of SXSW is comprised of technology leaders and up-and-comers looking to discover and share what the future holds in the industry. The SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event will have live pitch competitions from startups, and product demonstrations for those looking to make investments. The most impressive innovators will be honored at the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards.
Other conferences include Van Jones, noted CNN political figure and former special adviser for green jobs under Barack Obama; D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, showrunners of HBO’s “Game of Thrones;” SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan and fitness and lifestyle brand Outdoor Voices founder Tyler Haney.
The coolness of Austin is not to be underestimated; this goes for their hotels too. Casulo Hotel is for those new age thinkers looking to zen out. Casulo invites visitors to the spaciousness of their distinctively chill atmosphere just outside of downtown. Hotel Saint Cecilia takes its inspiration from the artists and scene-creators of the ‘60s and ‘70s. This is the place with a radical outdoor pool that features a large neon sign sitting amongst the trees simply reading “SOUL.” Within this large secluded property, you’ll find gorgeously decorated rooms, lounges and a lobby filled with vinyl records. As one of the more contemporary hotels in the city, Kimber Modern deems itself an “all inclusive oasis.” Bright colors, clean lines and vibrant aesthetics line the halls and rooms of this artfully hip hotel.