AUSTIN – The big one is back. SXSW made its return to an in-person festival much to the overall city-wide hype and fanfare from visitors.
Comprised of film, interactive, and music, the staple Austin festival kicked off its weekend one and was a breaking ground for in-person events in a post-pandemic world.
The atmosphere and energy are different this time, the increased positive energy and those seeking a post-pandemic return to normalcy has also increased.
There is no question about it, this time around, SXSW has regained its footing and a large number of external visitors proves just that.
SXSW was missed by many not limited to guests but also musicians, barkeeps, restauranteurs, and alike relying on income generated from SXSW. The return has been triumphant so far.
This weekend kicked off many film world-premieres alongside passionate startups and crypto organizations aligning for special sessions and more.
Stars arrive in Austin for film premieres and more at SXSW
One of the largest film premieres of the weekend was the documentary, Still Working 9 to 5, a film which reunited stars Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Lily, Tomlin, and Dabney Coleman of the original 1980s 9 to 5 film alongside current generation star Rita Moreno of the tv series, and Allison Janney from the Broadway musical.
The documentary focuses on the original film and how the feminist message during the ‘80s was not as widely accepted in general audiences at the time.
Stars of HBO Max Original DMZ based on the original DC comic book made their presence known this year. The all-star cast including Rosario Dawson, Benjamin Bratt, Hoon Lee, and more were in attendance for the DMZ mini-series world premiere. The series is slated to release in later in March.
Special guest DJs provided a fun experience at the HBO Max/DC special event, Austin local Gabriela owner of Gabriela’s Downtown, Taquero Mucho, and others, provided a special guest DJ set to get the crowd started.
Crypto presence unrivaled this year for Interactive
Gecko Robotics a wall-climbing robot builders and enterprise software company with an office in Austin announced its $73 million Series C funding round and hosted a special event at SXSW to commemorate the announcement.
Troy Demmer, Chief Product Officer on the funding round and the launch of their Austin office, “It’s been terrific, we recently launched our Austin office within the last year, its been really tremendous to see the outpouring of the tech community down here, we’ve doubled headcount in the last year. We’re excited to what this fundraising means to our Austin office and beyond.”
Illustrative Space a platform for artists to publish content that is digital, physical, musical, and more, and can explore the space in real time with web3 technologies.
Illustrative Space co-founder Rob McCarty speaks on bringing a mostly remote team to in-person for the first time at SXSW.
“It’s been surreal; this is the first time our team came together. We started the business two weeks before quarantine. Everyone has been working abroad, we’re able to come together and launch this idea of “Proof of Presence” in a place that is near and dear to my heart, my folks are in the Lake Travis area,” Rob McCarty Co-Founder of Illustrative Space. To learn more about Illustrative Space, click here.
Special music showcases rounded out weekend one
Although the music portion of SXSW has not officially begun, artists have been performing at various venues all weekend to help keep the balance moving for SXSW for film and interactive.
Austin based artist Mobley gave a special performance at the Dell Experience activation to a packed room of guests. To say the performance was phenomenal is underselling, the performance was magnetic, and the crowd naturally gravitated to the sounds and experience.
While guests were given a taste of music for weekend one, more artist showcases are being announced as the festival happens.
SXSW weekend one wraps up leading into the week to prepare for the upcoming Music portion of the festival. Stay tuned, more to come.
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This article was originally published for CBS Austin, click here to view the original article.