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ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2015 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
AUSTIN, Texas - Here at the Interactive/Film week of South by Southwest, the question arises: Is it possible to own too many pairs of shoes? The title characters of Sneakerheadz , David T. Friendly and Mick Partridge's lively, pop-cult-savvy documentary about sneaker collectors, would agree with Imelda Marcos that it is not. With appearances by sneaker obsessives including rapper Wale, comedian Mike Epps, and DJs Samantha Ronson and...
ENTERTAINMENT
March 18, 2015 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
AUSTIN, Texas - At SXSW Interactive, which has attracted more than 30,000 from all over the world, real business was getting done in conference rooms and hotel bars all around the Texas capital. The SXSW Accelerator, an invitation-only tech start-up competition, took place over the weekend at the Hilton, and it had a decidedly Philadelphia flavor. But on the streets and in the Austin Convention Center, in keeping with the Internet philosophy that anything involving a cute animal will sell, there was no shortage of tech businesses putting a furry face on their clever idea.
NEWS
March 13, 2015 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
The sprawling culture and technology summit known as South by Southwest takes place in Austin, Texas, every March. It started out as a music festival in 1987. It still is one, but the madness that this corporate-branded mega-event brings to the streets of Austin, with thousands of acts, including a few dozen from Philadelphia, playing in more than 100 venues, doesn't get under way until next week. Before that happens, both the SXSW Film Festival - behind Sundance, the most influential annual festival for independent movies in the United States - and SXSW Interactive, the wide-ranging technology conference that first brought Twitter to the attention of the world in 2007, will occupy the Texas capital city.
NEWS
March 30, 2014 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
At this month's South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, conversations among music fans sometimes began this way: "Hey, I saw a Philly band called ______. What's their story?" The name of one Philadelphia act was the one most frequently filling in that blank. That would be the Districts, the barely-out-of-high-school foursome fronted by singer Robby Grote, 19. The rising band from Lancaster County played SXSW in support of their self-titled five-song EP. They're now in the midst of a two-month national tour that comes to a close at the Sellersville Theater in Bucks County on Wednesday.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2014 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Staff Writer
AUSTIN, Texas - It was the scariest South by Southwest ever, and the one most filled with superstars trying to ruin it for everybody else. Scary because a driver fleeing police crashed his car into a crowd at one of the music festival's busiest intersections early Thursday morning. Two people were pronounced dead on the scene, and a third died in the hospital Monday. Several others were seriously injured. The superstars, like Doritos-sponsored Lady Gaga and, in particular, Samsung-and-Chevrolet-bankrolled Jay Z and Kanye West, did their best to take attention away from lesser-known acts, while making their fans pull silly stunts and wait in line for hours.
NEWS
March 15, 2014 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Staff Writer
AUSTIN, Texas - Two people were killed and 23 hospitalized early Thursday after a car crashed through temporary barricades into a crowd of pedestrians at the South by Southwest Music festival. The mood was dark at the Austin Convention Center, headquarters of the festival, later Thursday. SXSW managing director Roland Swenson issued a statement saying "the SXSW staff is stunned and deeply moved by the events of last night. " He said the festival planned "to carry on with our scheduled daytime events" and added, "We are contacting all of the venues to find out if they have made any decisions about our operations that impact our visitors.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 15, 2014 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Staff Writer
AUSTIN, Texas - Is SXSW Interactive the nerdiest place on earth? The conference, which brought more than 30,000 busily networking techies from all over the globe to Austin last week, and which precedes the better-known SXSW Music, is where the superstar attractions were NSA leaker Edward Snowden (via teleconference), Mythbusters host Adam Savage, and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who referred to the confab as "geek central. " Panels drilled down into topics like "The Future of Genetics in Everyday Life," "Your Next UX Skill: Prototyping With HTML," and "Combinatorial Creativity: The Future of Innovation.
NEWS
March 12, 2014 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Staff Writer
AUSTIN, Texas - The music portion of the South by Southwest conference doesn't begin until Tuesday, but there's no question that the week's biggest rock star has already appeared before the crowd gathered in this capital city. On Monday, Edward Snowden, the fugitive former National Security Agency contractor who leaked thousands of classified documents last year, focusing world attention on the U.S. government's data-surveillance programs, appeared via teleconference from Russia before a packed house of 3,500 at the SXSW Interactive conference.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 11, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Just talk to me Why do some things catch on, and others fail? That was the question at the heart of Wharton professor Jonah Berger 's packed session "What Drives Word of Mouth?" Saturday in Austin, Texas, at a South by Southwest conference. What percentage of word of mouth is on social media like Facebook or Twitter? Seven percent, he says. Even in this digital era, most interactions that make products succeed happen face to face. "We spend far too much time thinking about technology," said the author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On , "and not enough thinking about psychology.
NEWS
March 10, 2014 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Staff Writer
The South by Southwest Music Festival, which takes place in Austin, Texas, this week, is a colossal event. Last year, more than 2,200 bands played official SXSW showcases. Hundreds more performed nonsanctioned gigs ranging from taco-shop parking-lot parties to corporate-branded megastar events. In 2014, it's only getting bigger, with stars you'd think wouldn't need the exposure, such as Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar, and Lady Gaga playing at events sponsored by Apple and Doritos. What are the chances of an up-and-coming act like Cheerleader, a Philadelphia power-pop band that played only their second gig in public last week at Kung Fu Necktie, gaining their share of buzz?
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