SXSW 2016 preview featuring music, film and technology in Austin, Texas.
SXSW 2016 preview featuring music, film and technology in Austin, Texas.

President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama to Make Their SXSW Debut

SXSW 2016 is set to have a presidential year with special keynote speakers featuring President Barack Obama, and First Lad Michelle Obama. The festival will host a Keynote Conversation with Barack Obama speaking at the SXSW Interactive on Friday, March 11 and Michelle Obama will be the opening Keynote at SXSW Music on Wednesday, March 16.

In addition, the festival has a wide selection of open discussions, group meetings, and live events to experience during March.


This preview breaks down the three main sections to SXSW, and popular sub categories within the festival. Our outlet will not be onsite this year, but we plan to provide coverage over March 11-20. Dive into content covering each main track to the annual festival held in downtown Austin, Texas.

SXSW Interactive

March 11-15

Since 2007, SXSW has celebrated the latest interactive media with live presentations, an immersive trade show, speakers, parties, and a startup accelerator.

President Barack Obama has been fairly low key on cybersecurity, also known as computer security. There has been a large debate recently on how the federal government handles private information. It would be good for President Barack Obama to cover this to a degree to help provide some transparency between the public and the government.

SXSports will be open to Interactive, Film, Gold, or Platinum badge holders. It is important to note the dates to the sub categories. Guests may be traveling from different parts of the world.

SXsports will run Friday, March 11 – Sunday, March 13, 2016.

SXComedy will be open both weekends for guests to experience during SXSW Interactive, and during SXSW Film/Music. Stream highlights from Comedy Bang Bang with Scott Aukerman on Soundcloud.

SXStyle includes industry leaders Amber Venz and Emily Weiss. The fashion industry continues to merge with technology and different cultures from around the globe.

SXstyle will run Friday, March 11 – Sunday, March 13

Find out the latest trends in style at the Westin in Austin, as well as Featured Sessions taking place at the Austin Convention Center. Film screenings for SXStyle will take place at various official SXSW Film venues.



March 11-19

Virtual reality and augmented reality will be taking over the Hilton Austin Downtown on Wednesday, March 16 through Friday, March 18.

Film, Gold, and Platinum badge holders will be able to take a look into the future of media at SXSW VR/AR.

The film section provides a conference setting, where film badge holders can listen in and find out more about the cinema industry. This year, the Duplass Brothers will be covering their latest material, and insight on film production. Watch Mark Duplass’ inspirational speech on YouTube.

A good rule of thumb for SXSW 2016 is to find the most relevant topics, and plan your trip around those dates. The problem for myself, I want to cover everything, in detail. After listening to SXSW veterans, I also see the importance in focusing on specific events to maximize learning, growing and networking potential.

A second rule of thumb behind SXSW is setting an agenda and purpose to attending the event. It can be an excellent learning tool. I find it becoming more and more similar to attending interactive college courses.

It can be a networking platform for new businesses to launch products. Before 2007, there was some technology-based events, but when Twitter debuted their application in 2007, it set the bar for product launches at SXSW.

Additionally, providing theaters for filmmakers to debut new material. SXSW Film also hosts a film festival for cinematographers to debut their work. Major film distributors have taken note to the organic buzz at SXSW. Similar to larger music acts, these films can help build attention, and take away from lesser known producers.

Watch over a collection of trailers featuring film projects set to debut this month at SXSW.



SXSW Music

March 15-20

In 2014, the Los Angeles Times reported that SXSW holds the title for largest music festival in terms of the amount of bands that perform at the event with over 2,000 acts.

Since 1987, the festival has hosted regional and local talent. As the festival grows, more and more national and international talent have made their mark in downtown Austin. Locals in the area discuss unofficial shows that are open to those without a music badge. New talent will continue to debut at SXSW on a variety of levels.

SXSW recently announced an event known as Mass Appeal. The showcase returns to the SXSW Music Festival with two hip-hop heavyweights featuring: Nas and DJ Khaled.

Nas is one of the greatest living rappers. On one hand, spectators could see him taking the spotlight away from up and coming talent. Others could argue that he is creating a buzz around the showcase that may have not been as big.

This live event will take place at Austin Music Hall on Thursday, March 17 at SXSW 2016. It will also include performances by: Just Blaze, Trae Tha Truth, Buckshot, Bas, Rock, Smif N Wessun, Dave East, and SuperBlack. Connect with the SXSW schedule by clicking and following the links.

Electronic producers, indie rockers and a wide collections of international artists will be performing live in Austin, Texas.

Shawn Wasabi feat. Yung Gemmy – “Burnt Rice”

Shawn Wasabi. a producer from Salinas, CA, rocked the Internet with his latest release titled Marble Soda, which hit 1 million views within 48 hours after being uploaded.

Dive into over 200 music videos highlighting the acts performing this year at SXSW Music. Scan over the SXSW 2016 YouTube Playlist.



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Matthew McGuire is the founder and editor of Crescent Vale News. In 2014, he acquired a master's degree in Professional Media and Media Management from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.