South by Southwest Interactive — the overflowing, tech-centric portion of the festival — jams a lot into five days for those who paid the early bird $695 to the current walk-up rate of $1,150 for a badge.
But a surprising amount of the fest is available free and to the public, and we’re not just talking about the hundreds of unofficial parties, open houses and marketing stunts that piggyback on Interactive. The festival itself has opened up several of its large events to anyone daring enough to fight downtown traffic or even those who want to stay home and enjoy some of the programming through a Web browser.
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Omar L. Gallaga has been covering South by Southwest Interactive since it was a tiny part of the festival called “Multimedia” in the late 1990s. He has written extensively about the cultural impact of the fest on Austin and on the tech world and is the American-Statesman’s lead reporter on Interactive every year.
Follow coverage of South by Southwest Interactive, including previews, panel reviews, videos, photos, scene reports and more on the Digital Savant blog, austin360.com/digitalsavant
Find our guide to South by Southwest Film in today’s Austin360 and online at austin360.com.