The classic honky-tonk culture of the south and southwest United States?
Yes. But when we founded South by Southwest, we couldn’t get the big stars. We invited unknown, experimental bands.
Back then, you worked for the Austin Chronicle, the local newspaper. Looking back, was there a particular moment that gave the festival the symbolic meaning it has today?
What does it symbolise in your view?
Everyone who wants to keep up with the latest trends in music, film, entertainment and above all new technologies, makes a pilgrimage to Austin, Texas, in March. That is now tens of thousands of people every year, from more than 60 countries. South by Southwest is an aggregate reflection of the global digital culture.
Wow, thanks! I think the year 1994 was a turning point. That was when we integrated multimedia into the festival, in addition to music and film. It was also a time when the Internet was gaining importance. It quickly became clear to us that these new technologies would change the way we lived in the 21st Century. Of course, we had no idea how quickly this would evolve, but we definitely wanted to be part of this change.