Wednesday, March 08, 2006

SXSW 2006 - Over 900 artist MP3 free downloads!

For the second year in a row, Austin, Texas' South By Southwest Festival is offering hundreds of MP3s of the performing artists, for free download, as well as film trailers. SXSW is known as "South By Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Conferences and Festivals."

Here are some quick facts about the main events:

South by Southwest Music and Media Conference (SXSW) 2006, in its twentieth year, will take place March 15 - 19, 2006. The SXSW Film Conference and SXSW Interactive Festival, both in their thirteenth year, will take place March 10 - 14, 2006 with the Film Festival running from March 10 - 18, 2006.

• Showcasing Acts: 1331
• Music Venues Participating: 58
• Music Conference Participants: 8,604 (with band registrations 9,692)
• Approximate Number of Music Media in Attendance: 1,866
• Approximate Number of Music Trade Show Attendees: 11,000
• Number of Music Trade Show Exhibitors: 191

• Number of Films Screened: 180
• Film Conference Participants: 3,807
• Approximate Number of Film Media in Attendance: 459
• Interactive Conference Participants: 3,343
• Approximate Number of Interactive Media in Attendance: 424
• Approximate Number of Film/Interactive Trade Show Attendees: 8,000
• Number of Film/Interactive Trade Show Exhibitors: 125

SXSW doesn't just feature a ton of unsigned artists, representing nearly every musical genre, looking for deals. Several very established artists show up to speak, perform or do both. Robert Plant performed last year. This year's keynote speaker is Neil Young, hot on the heels of his excellent concert movie Neil Young: Heart of Gold. Ray Davies, Herbie Hancock, Morrissey, the Pretenders, k.d. lang, Kris Kristofferson and Bill Bragg will also appear.

Some of the musical acts appearing who I have an interest in include Page France, from Baltimore; Of Montreal, from Athens, GA; The Plimsouls, from L.A.; The New Pornographers, from Vancouver; and Belle & Sebastian. Frankly, there's too many bands I like to list, among the sea of unknown. Read the schedule of who is playing where and download some MP3s, if you like.

On the film side, they plan to show 115 feature films, including 50 world premieres, and 130 short films. Yes, they are showing films that will play in a theatre near you that I am looking forward to seeing, such as A Scanner Darkly, Thank You For Smoking, Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, V For Vendetta, and A Prairie Home Companion.

You can either browse the daily schedule and pick the MP3s you wish to download, or you can take them all in one fell swoop (well, two, actually) by using your bittorrent client.

There's an interesting thread about this post at

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