What It's Like To Attend The Hard-Partying, 40,000-Person Tech Conference SXSW

We just got back from South by Southwest, an annual tech, music and film conference that attracts 40,000 people.

What’s it like?

It’s hard to explain just how buzzing a place it us, so we took a stroll down the main drag and captured video. You can watch the video below, or else scroll through the screenshots.

This video was taken on Sunday. The main drag, 6th street, was shut down for multiple blocks so attendees could roam. There were street performances, lots of promotions, and packed bars. Music blared from all the open shops.

The Iron Cactus (right) is a popular bar in Austin. Venture Capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers threw an open-bar party there that night.

Sxsw 2014

Business Insider

Even though there are so many people in Austin for the conference, spontaneous run-ins happen frequently. Here are two friends hugging each other after bumping in to each other on the street.

The streets are closed down for multiple blocks, so people can roam around mindlessly and bar hop.

Here, lots of people are gathered watching a street performance.

Promotions are everywhere in Austin. Samsung has a big rented building where SXSW-goers could tryout all the latest devices.

Startups have presence too. See those girls in the background? The startup T-shirt and cowboy boots getup is popular attire in Austin.

Food trucks are lined on the side of the street for hungry people and late-night snacks. Almost every other store on 6th street is a bar. Austin is very much a college town.

Here’s a long line of people waiting to get into the latest party.

Sxsw 2014

Business Insider

Here’s the video:

And here’s an example of what Austin is like at night. We attended a free Snoop Dogg concert at an outdoor bar called Stubbs on Sunday evening. Shaquille O’Neal watched from the corner of the stage, bopping back and forth. PayPal and Braintree sponsored it.

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