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A festival that takes place throughout an entire city. That's the vibe of South by Southwest – which you may also have heard as SXSW.
 
It's ten bustling days mixing culture and technology all over the city of Austin, capital of the US state of Texas. From bars, that put on shows with upcoming to legendary artists, to cultural spaces, that host talks, record releases and film debuts. 

SXSW is divided into 3 sub-events: SXSW interactive (interactive media), SXSW Music and SXSW Film.
 
Created over 30 years ago with the objective of connecting the world to the culture of Austin, today it's known as the Mecca of digital, cultural, and audiovisual innovation.

We here at Melissa are going to show up there in our Melissa Travel Market – a vehicle that's been transformed into a meeting space with the public. You can see all the event coverage on our Instagram this weekend.  

To show you the importance of this festival, we've listed 4 curiosities and moments that have made history at South by Southwest.


1.   A trampoline for musicians
Proving its vanguard, music-loving character, South by Southwest has already launched the careers of many famous North American artists. John Mayer was discovered while playing at a bar during the festival. Katy Perry, The White Stripes, Franz Ferdinand and even Hanson also share similar stories.
 
Image by Dailymotion

2.   Barack Obama has spoken at SXSW
In 2016 Barack Obama, then president of the United States, gave a speech there about the importance of technology as the solution to many problems like taking care of the population's security and privacy. What other festival could boast of such an illustrious presence?
 
3.   Taken Over
South by Southwest happens ­– literally – in the entire city. In addition to official event activities, bars, hotels, and houses offer parallel (but non-official) activities, that helps to fill the streets and makes a super fun, friendly vibe. Austin has about a million inhabitants, but because most live in the suburbs it gives off a small-town impression.
 
4. All the technology that you use has probably been there at some point
Austin is home to many tech businesses, and has been nicknamed "silicon hills" (in reference to Silicon Valley in California). That's why the tech sub-event has grown a ton in recent years, increasingly opening space for research and discussions. Additionally, many businesses take advantage of the moment to present their hot new developments to the public. Uber, Foursquare and Airbnb are but a few of the names that have used SXSW to catapult their release.