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Monday, March 21, 2011

Has SXSW Jumped The Shark?

It happens to every conference. Heck, it happens to almost everything that achieves mass popularity. Sooner or later whatever has become massively popular reaches the point where it's just not as cool, worthwhile watching or attending, or has outgrown the original idea. It has "jumped the shark," which refers to the 70's TV series Happy Days when the show basically ran out of ideas and had Fonzie waterskiing over sharks.

From what I've been hearing, the excellent music conference that is South By Southwest (or SXSW), might've just done just that. Although there's always the people that treat the conference like a giant vacation and have a good time no matter what, the people that are trying to do some real business there are becoming increasingly disgruntled.

Here's what I've heard:
  • It's too crowded and hurried to get any business accomplished.
  • It's too crowded to get anywhere easily and on time.
  • It's hard to arrange flights, lodging and transportation, because (you guessed it) it's too crowded.
  • There's a lot of the crowd that's only there for the free events, and therefore don't contribute much.
  • There are more fights and unsavory incidents occurring.
  • It's so crowded that my band has no chance of being seen (this might be the worst one of the bunch).
  • There's no chance of being signed because the industry has changed and there are no A&R people left.
I'm interested in hearing your thoughts. Has SXSW "jumped the shark." 

And by the way, you can read more interesting Jump The Shark television info on that site, although it's not as good now that TV Guide has taken it over.


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