SXSW 2017 has come a long way from its spur of the moment start. I know, because I’ve covered SXSW since the beginning, when SXSW started as an offshoot of the Austin Chronicle. Read about the early days of South by Southwest in the first book of my Heart of Texas trilogy, Deep in the Heart of Texas. Now, SXSW has become an enormous multifaceted mega-festival. The SXSW Music Festival is still at the forefront, but SXSW Film and SXSW Interactive Festivals have also become extremely popular. SXSW Edu - the newest addition - adds Education-related workshops and events. While welcoming all who come to Austin for SXSW, these days I stay on the fringes because there are just too many people crammed into downtown for my comfort. There’s plenty of excellent music at fringe events like Shakespeare’s “We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges” backyard house concert (more about that also in Deep in the Heart of Texas), Hondo Presents Open Mic at the Moontower Saloon (also in Christmas in the Heart of Texas) and many, many more. For 2017 recommendations, dates and daily updates, please check my Facebook page. At its best, SXSW is a state of mind. If you choose to enjoy it in person, you are in for a wild ride. Enjoy! But if your mind wants to experience SXSW while your body is elsewhere, that is even easier. Listen on the radio or live stream. It’s all good! Enjoy!