AdvertisemenSouth by Southwest (SXSW) is a set of film, interactive, and music festivals and conferences that take place early every year (usually in March) in Austin, Texas, United States. It began in 1987, and has continued to grow in size every year.
In 2011, the conference lasted for 10 days, with SXSW Interactive lasting for five, Music for six, and Film running concurrently for nine days. SXSW is considered to be Austin's "signature event". South by Southwest is run by a company, called SXSW Inc., that plans and executes conferences, trade shows, festivals and other events.
In addition to the three main South by Southwest festivals, the company runs three other conferences, two in Austin: SXSWedu, a conference on educational innovation, and SXSW Eco, an environmental conference; and one in Las Vegas: SXSW V2V, a conference focused on innovative startups.
The creators of South by Southwest co-created two similar festivals in 1995: North by Northwest (NXNW) in Portland, Oregon, and North by Northeast (NXNE) in Toronto. North by Northwest ended in 2001, and was replaced by MusicfestNW, an event run entirely by NXNW's other founders, the Willamette Week. In 2006, SXSW organizers created West by Southwest (WXSW) in Tucson, Arizona, a music festival which occurs directly before South by Southwest and mostly features bands that are scheduled to play at SXSW.
Other festivals inspired by SXSW include 35 Denton (formerly known as "North by 35" or "NX35" and "35 Conferette") in Denton, Texas, XOXO in Portland, Oregon, South by Due East in Houston, C2SV in San Jose, California, Live at Heart in Örebro, Sweden, The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, Incubate (formerly known as "ZXZW") in Tilburg, Netherlands, MoSo Conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and The Goa Project in India. South by So What?!, a one day music festival, is also named after South by Southwest.