South by Southwest 2017 has arrived. Here are five things to know about the first day of the conference:
1. Be ready for rain: You’ll need your umbrella Friday and Saturday, although sunshine will return Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures will climb to near 80 on Friday and Saturday, making for a muggy weekend as storm chances rise to 50 percent. A cold front arriving overnight Saturday will sweep away the clouds but cap daytime temperatures at a chilly 63 Sunday.
2. State of SXSW: The conference kicks off Friday morning with opening remarks from SXSW chief programming officer Hugh Forrest. With the event undergoing changes — doing away with its Gold badge, consolidating pricing for registration and marching toward a kind of convergence that could eventually lead to one badge — it will be interesting to see what he has to say about where SXSW is going.
3. Political talk: The opening speaker for SXSW’s Interactive track this year will be U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. His talk could be the first of many with strong political themes in the wake of last year’s contentious presidential campaign.
4. Film Festival: The SXSW Film Festival kicks off Friday night with the world premiere of “Song to Song,” the Terrence Malick movie starring Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara and Natalie Portman. The movie was shot in Austin and is described as a love story set in the Austin music scene.
5. Finding food: The SouthBites Trailer Park opens Friday at Driskill and Rainey streets. All the food trucks will feature Mexican avocados on their menus, and even if you don’t have a badge, you can still grab a bite by registering at guestpass.sxsw.com, which also gets you access to other free events.