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SXSW wrap: Friday's highlights

Staff Writer
Austin 360
First one in line, first one out: 'Sweet' John Muehlbauer got in line outside Apple's pop-up store in the Scarbrough Building downtown about 6:30 a.m. Nearly 11 hours later, he walked out with his new iPad 2 in hand, the first of more than 100 people queued up around the store to do so.

INTERACTIVE

Apple pop-up store lures scores of iPad fans

More than 100 people stood in a line wrapped around the Scarbrough Building downtown Friday in anticipation for the reveal of the pop-up Apple store and the iPad 2.

Customers — some of whom secured their spots in line as early as 6:30 a.m. — were able to purchase the iPad 2 beginning at 5 p.m. Most in the queue sported SXSW badges, but there were some locals mixed in. Workers unveiled the store at 4 p.m., taking down black vinyl sheets that covered the windows.

Kristen Malzone, a New York native, waited in line for the iPad 2 since 2 p.m. She said being a part of the pop-up store opening was a unique experience.

"I feel like I'm a part of something special here," she said. "I was going to order one online, but this is much cooler. This is a good idea, because these people in line are the early adapters to Apple's technology. Apple knew how to reach its demographic by opening this store."

INTERACTIVE

Panels packed as fest starts

The South by Southwest Interactive Conference and Festival was anticipating 30 to 40 percent growth again this year, and there were signs of that as the fest kicked off Friday. Some early panels were standing room only. At the Austin Convention Center, there were human traffic jams in hallways, and companies such as Sony, Hewlett-Packard and PepsiCo set up large displays inside and out to attract all those eyeballs. There was some grumbling on Twitter (as much virtual conversation takes place at the festival as face-to-face) about packed panels and long waits for shuttles between the festival's various venues, but that was matched by lots of joyous tweets from attendees about being in Austin, enjoying beautiful weather, eating barbecue and seeing old friends (or friends they had previously known only by their Twitter avatars).

FILM

‘Better World' director muses at State Theatre

Before her Oscar-winning film "In a Better World" screened Friday at the State Theatre as part of SXSW Film, Danish director Susanne Bier reflected on the meaning of that Academy Award. "It's huge," Bier said. "I don't think anybody realizes the pride a country of 5 million people takes in winning this prize. It's been seen by 10 percent of all Danes."

FILM

Quotable

‘I love the artistic aspect of Austin. It's a place that's a city but also a town. And unlike anywhere else, at this festival everyone is kind.'

— Actor Jake Gyllenhaal, at the "Source Code" red carpet Friday night at the Paramount Theatre