South by Southwest 2018 was nine days of branding, advertising, media, tech, music, film, comedy and culture. Lots and lots of culture.
Debates centred on the incessant drum beat of AI; the Blockchain revolution that will make today’s internet feel like 1994 (true quote!); the ethics of software development; the need for authenticity in content production and storytelling; the trend of brands doing what governments won’t in becoming catalysts for good (well…except maybe Facebook); the massive social movements of #MeToo, #TimesUps, #NeverAgain and #BlackLivesMatter steamrolling the patriarchy; the patriarchy acknowledging it needs steamrolling; Donald Trump…and that’s just for starters.
By day two it became clear that SXSW would become a high-stakes game of survival of the mind. So many panels. So many sessions. So much stuff to think about. So many things to explore (VR, AR, robotics, Westworld). So many parties to attend. (Yes, Aus House, we’re looking at you.)
Eye drops, Berroca and multiple refuelling sessions via food trucks gave us a fighting chance of making it through the festival without our brains exploding. But make it through we did – we’ve even got the video to prove it.
Footage by Aimee Bricker & Cath Pope
Edited by Jesse H. Laier
Graphics by Julie Nguyen