Sunday, February 26, 2006

plugged into SXSW

This week I was witness to an amazing example of the internet age. In 90 minutes Waterloo records sold 1,400 SXSW wristbands, and another 2,000 more by 5pm. This was ALL in walk up sales, no internet or phone sales.

Photo courtesy of the Austin American Statesman

But what's really amazing is that ticket sales were only announced the day of the sale in a print publication, and word was able to spread quickly enough the night before that there were hundreds of people there to buy tickets. SXSW is a model of wireless connected activity, the type of people that come to this festival are tapped in.

Waterloo Records announced a secret sale the night before via text messages to list subscribers. SXSW blogs and forums buzzed with people with tips from insiders. Waterloo didn't need to publish their release date, they had a whole league of people doing it for them.

Secret industry parties don't stay secret for long, somebody blabs and it's all over the internet weeks before the festival. The official SXSW website features downloadable mp3s of nearly every band. Mobile bloggers have a field day at the festival with mini cameras and audio recorders.

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