Saturday, November 3, 2007


In considering the power of creative-oriented festivals on a city’s credibility, it’s hard to deny the power of Austin’s South by Southwest (SXSW). Yes, I know. We’re back to Austin. Again.

This year, SXSW hosted 123,000+ attendees across the music, film and interactive platforms. The Austin CVB estimated the economic impact of SXSW on that city’s economy to be $43.5M. Held in March, the SXSW was started in 1987 as a music festival. Today it also encompasses the film industry (SXSW Film) as well as interactive media (SXSW Interactive Festival).

This from the SXSW Web site: “SXSW's original goal was to create an event that would act as a tool for creative people and the companies they work with to develop their careers, to bring together people from a wide area to meet and share ideas. That continues to be the goal today whether it is music, film or the internet. And Austin continues to be the perfect location.”

But not the only perfect location. The private company that produces SXSW is also involved in North by Northeast (NXNE), held in Toronto in summer, in association with NOW, an alternative newsweekly.

So … dare we dream? SXSE in Orlando? Hey – it could happen. Of course, if we’re to follow Toronto’s model, we’ll need the Orlando Weekly to kick its MBI problems first.

Better yet, let’s take what we have – our urban film festival (Orlando Film Festival), our own interactive conference (BlogOrlando) and growing digital media industry – and create a mix-up mash-up event of our own.

1 comment:

ryanprice said...

how about we book it for the week of FFF and call it they "everything else festival". That was my idea BTW when I started Flordia Creatives - that we piggyback on another event and bring other types of creativity to it and more talkback, sharing, learning, panel discussions and more fun!!