SXSW started in 1987 in Austin, Texas. Always known as a party town, home to UT and the state capitol, Austin was the perfect location. Austin musicians were basically isolated from the world of music so the founders thought this would be the perfect way to shine the spotlight on the wide variety of music being created here including country, jazz and blues.
SXSW was an instant success and music businesses flocked to Austin to participate, both nationally and internationally. The registrants in 1987 started with 700. Today there are over 16,000. As Austin has grown over the years, so has the event and in 1994 SXSW added the film and interactive components for those respective industries to showcase the latest in film and interactive technology.
SXSW started as a place for creative people to share their work and ideas and continues to grow every year. It’s a five hour drive from the Rio Grande Valley. If you’re among the creative or appreciate the arts, this is worth the drive.