Austin SXSW and Commercial Real Estate | Facts and Timeline Information

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  • 1987 The SXSW Music Festival is first held in March 1987. The organizers considered it a regional event and expected around 150 attendees to show up, but over 700 came.
  • 1993 SXSW moves into the Austin Convention Center, where it is still held.
  • 1994 SXSW adds a component for film and other media, named the “SXSW Film and Multimedia Conference.”
  • 1999 “SXSW Multimedia”— which became its own separate event in 1995—is renamed “SXSW Interactive.”
  • 2010 Nearly 2,000 bands are officially scheduled to perform, and festival reps estimated that over 13,000 industry representatives attended.
  • 2013 SXSW Interactive sees a huge jump in registration, now with 30,621 paying attendees, more than three times the number that had attended a mere five years prior in 2008 (9,000).
  • 2016 2,224 Showcasing Artists; 378 Panels, Workshops & Sessions; 103 Venues & Stages.


  • $325.3 million In 2016 alone, SXSW’s economic impact on the Austin economy totaled $325.3 million. It is the highest revenue-producing event for the Austin economy, and a total virtually identical to the combined sales price for the three most-expensive office building sales in Austin in 2016—701 Brazos Street, 100 Congress Ave, and 800 Cesar Chavez.
  • 350,000 people Total attendance of nearly 350,000 in 2016, or 10,606 people per floor of the 33-story Frost Bank Tower, Austin’s tallest office building.
  • 110 billion In 2016 alone, SXSW—and by extension, Austin, Texas—achieved over 110 billion broadcast, print, and online impressions. If those impressions were converted to square feet, it could fit more than 700 times Austin’s entire office and industrial inventory combined.



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