SXSW Impressions Part 1

"It was my
first time there
are I thought it was a good time, but I am not sold
that the conference was worth the $700. I did sit in on a few of the
sessions and did enjoy the "VIP" feeling of skipping lines for bars,
but I think $399 would have been fair. Most of the showcases had decent
bands and the sound was great everywhere we went. It's a numbers game
and you must go to know." – Ivan, Mohawk Bomb Records

"SXSW ’09 did seem a little less extravagant in terms of the day party freebies…  Still it continues to be a sprawling marathon of rock and roll and industry meet ups.  I’m always amazed at the hundreds of bands with no hope for attention who continue to flock, but also always find one or two gems by accident… so I guess that’s how it’s supposed to happen.   Best weather in my 5 trips." – Mark Lourie, Skyline Music and The Mark & Pat Show

"There might not have been a massive frenzy like recent years, but business was still being done. (continued…)

The ranks of label and a&r reps and general attendees may have thinned, but bands were still being pursued and signed; dinners and libations among friends and clients were enjoyed; and key deals were made, even if they don't make the headlines.

But as for Interactive, Austin was THE place to be last week. Granted, tech gatherings are a dime a dozen, but shared insights, access to key figures, and peer networking at SXSWi is unparalleled. The keynotes were great (Guy Kawasaki discussing "Freemium" with Long Tail theorist Chris Anderson; Zappos Tony Hsieh discussing the philosophies that have made his company so admired AND profitable), choices among panels was overwhelming at times, the night parties were almost too crowded at certain points. – Scott Perry, New Music Tipsheet

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