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SXSW wrap: Tuesday's highlights

South by Southwest Digest

Staff Writer
Austin 360

INTERACTIVE

Festival attendance climbs by 36 percent

The South by Southwest Interactive Conference and Festival, which ended Tuesday, saw a growth in attendance that mirrored last year's jump.

The festival said Tuesday that paid attendance was 19,364, up from last year's 14,251. (That number includes Gold and Platinum badgeholders who had access to SXSW Interactive.)

The nearly 36 percent growth contributed to crowds downtown, some overfull panels and talk about the festival's ability to manage continued growth.

"Things generally worked very well," festival director Hugh Forrest said, despite reports of shuttle bus problems and logistical challenges caused by the fest's new format of 10 campuses.

"The campus program is still very rough and needs a lot of tweaking, and we need to improve our shuttle bus service," he said. "But we had very crowded panel rooms 10 years ago. It was a good start."

Asked whether the multiple-campus format would continue, Forrest said, "Barring the city doubling the Convention Center in size, there's no way it won't continue."

More Tuesday highlights

• The 14th Annual Interactive Awards bestowed honors on familiar names including Groupon, Conan O'Brien, a Web project from Grammy winners Arcade Fire and Old Spice's "Smell Like a Man, Man" digital ad campaign. During the ceremony at the Hilton Austin downtown, Arcade Fire's "Wilderness Downtown" won the Music and Best of Show honors. For more winners, visit Digital Savant (austin360.com/digitalsavant).

Gov. Rick Perry visited Facebook Live, the site's online video channel, and talked about topics including using social media to engage young people in political discourse.

The SXSWcares campaign for Japan relief had raised more than $50,000 as of Tuesday night.

MUSIC

Lines stretch for Fader Fort

The Fader Fort is always one of the hottest day parties at SXSW. Anybody can go, but you have to RSVP and then you have to stand in line — for a long time. The line for the wristband pickup formed before 11 a.m. Tuesday, more than an hour before the scheduled handout time outside the Fader Fort on East Fifth Street. Laura Osborn, a teacher at Norman Elementary, and her friends arrived at noon. She said they didn't get wristbands until 2:20 p.m.

FILM

‘Natural Selection' wins big

"Natural Selection," a coming-of-age Texas-based tale, was the big winner at the annual awards ceremony Tuesday evening for the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival. The movie won the narrative feature audience award, which is based on voting by festival-goers. It also was the grand jury winner for narrative feature. For more awards, visit austin360.com/movies.

MORE COVERAGE

In Austin360: Our SXSW music edition is out a day early this week with buzz bands, critics picks, interviews and more.

In Food & Life: The food highlights of SXSW so far; for musicians, staying healthy on the road isn't easy.