Feel that blast of cold? That’s SXSW Interactive suddenly wrapping up in its icy grip and me needing an industrial-sized space heater to avoid freezing up.
Yes, it appears things have finally shifted into SXSW gear as unofficial parties are announced, new programming is added and people start to get that crazed “Too many RSVPs/too little time” look in their eye.
Here are some of the highlights of this week’s news:On Monday, a new set of featured speakers were announced including Sen. Rand Paul, Dan Rather, Maxine Williams and Julia Boorstin.All of the SXSW permits (hey, “Game of Thrones” exhibit!) in one place.Speaking of “Game of Thrones,” in addition to the Austin Music Hall exhibit, there are three panels related to the HBO show, which returns in April.Spredfast’s SXSW Interactive party will include performances from Flaming Lips and Future Islands.Lots of other updates from this week, largely from the Music side.10 great moments from last year’s fest.Our side party database has launched.And stuff we’d like to see this year, including the Apple Watch. Apple has a March 9 press event scheduled, likely to tout its upcoming smartwatch device. Apple will live stream the event.March 14 side party to have taken place at former site of piñata store has been canceled by Splash.Do you dig Ireland? Prime Minister Enda Kenney will speak at the fest on March 15.This year’s SXSW Comedy lineup (available to Interactive badge holders), includes Nick Kroll and Amy Schumer.Robot Petting Zoo set for March 15-17.A roundup of March 17 Convergence Day programming.This year’s SXSW Interactive pet celebrity superstar will likely be overbitey Instagram canine Tuna Melts My Heart, who’ll be at the fest and will also be doing a BookPeople appearance March 6.