South By Southwest, which kicked off Friday with SXSW Interactive (March 7-11) and SXSW Film (March 7-15) followed by SXSW Music (March 11–16), is one of the year's most prominent music events and, as is often said, the most overwhelming. For at least a decade, industry pros have complained the confab is marred by overpopulation, innumerable events at all hours of the day and night, corporate sponsorship ad nauseum— all of which beg the perennial question: Has SXSW jumped the shark? In 2012, the number of people who attended at least one SXSW activity totaled some 155,000.
With that in mind, Billboard polled a brain trust of veteran music execs to get expert strategies for how best to approach the conference; and to explain why, exactly, it's still worth the ticket to Austin. Today, Billboard.biz talks to Madeleine Bennett, marketing director at Mtheory, for her seasoned perspective on the industry's annual Texas takeover.
Founder, CEO, Glassnote
My son Sean got me an electric bike last year which proved to be amazing. I used it for exercise on manual, then needed it to get around town. I was always on time with the bike.
My advice is to follow your own instincts and muse when searching for new talent. Come well rested and with an open mind to discover talent that isn't necessarily on the industry radar and already being touted. What makes SXSW so unique is the diversity and plethora of music that allows for self discovery.
"I had one of the most memorable meals of my life."
My greatest moments and memories are of following The Temper Trap from show to show. They were an incredibly talented band from Australia that got better and more captivating with each show at SXSW. After the 4th show our team was enraptured and I sat down to breakfast with Danny Rogers, their manager, and ironed out a deal.
Food discoveries are also aplenty. I can thank Givers for turning me on to their favorite restaurants as well as Phoenix, our band from France. They took me to Uchi, where I had one of the most memorable meals of my life.