SXSW is now officially a really, REALLY BIG DEAL

I missed out on SXSW this year. I couldn’t afford to go, and with my situation, I couldn’t justify it, either.

It was packed this year. People complained. I talked to two attendees and both said it was incredibly crowded. Here’s what Chad Hartigan (a fine director in his own right) tweeted me:

My other friend said he was able to get in and see almost everything he wanted to see, but attributed that to knowing the right people.

What prompted this post was Karina Longworth’s write up on the festival. Unlike the previous article, Longworth defers the blame to the festival’s slow burn:

If the fest’s planners failed to see the tipping point coming, perhaps it’s because it’s been so slow to arrive. In past years, it’s taken a long while for the masses to care about the stuff that SXSW audiences eat up (Greta Gerwig, the it-girl of SXSW 2007, may co-star in the new Noah Baumbach movie, but she’s hardly a household name), if they ever come to care at all (the 2009 Seth Rogen comedy Observe and Report was a major SXSW hit and notable box-office bomb). This year, the SXSW audiences were the masses.

Meanwhile, Todd Sklar of Range Life made this observation:

The “Mumblecore” movement is what prompted me to want to pursue this movie. I’ve never had too much trouble getting into the movies I want to see the last two years I attended the festival. Then again, I’ve always been there early enough. I was seriously hoping to submit this movie to SXSW once it’s finished (If it ever gets made). While this development doesn’t leave me entirely daunted, it does make me nervous.

However, if the film festival has superceded the music festival it grew out of, that is a sign of the times indeed.

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