Big names, fans converge on Austin for SXSW

Ilona Carson reports from the state capitol
March 9, 2014 8:30:48 PM PDT
South by Southwest is kicking off in Austin, and Jimmy Kimmel is taking his show there for the whole week. This is the largest festival of its kind in North America and it certainly has a uniquely Austin vibe.

It's a music, film and technology festival that will draw 30,000 people to the capital of the Lone Star State. "South by," as locals call it, has a unique draw, creative people coming from around the world to share ideas.

"It's a zoo. It gets crazy," said SXSW event planner Bijou Finney "Austin always has really cool music and awesome things going on, but everyone comes to experience it during 'South by.'"

The festival which features 130 films, brings Hollywood A-listers and buzz-worthy indie flicks. Two-thousands musical acts will include big names like Pitt Bull and Lady Gaga, as well as hundreds of up-and-comers, hoping for their big break.

"Your chances of finding that person that can help you out are greatly increased because you're surrounded by all the people that can help you," said 'Astronautalis' band member Andy Bothwell.

Keynote speakers will include Chelsea Clinton and NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who will be appearing via video from Russia.

Jimmy Kimmel and his gang will host their show from the heart of the festival all week.

"Texas is a lot of fun," said Kimmel. "Number one, that is the reason we are coming. but also the food is great. The people are very nice. It's just a good place to visit."

Guillermo of the Jimmy Kimmel Live show was the first of Jimmy's cast of characters to hit the Texas capital, taking a spin in a go-kart as Super Mario. The whole gang is hitting the road, broadcasting all week from South by Southwest.

"People in Texas are very fun, very nice," said Guillermo. "They have the best BBQ. They like to have fun. They like to work, but they like to have a good time."

Guests this week on Jimmy Kimmel Live will include Robert Duvall, Willie Nelson, and Governor Rick Perry.

Ilona Carson is in Austin this week for SXSW. Follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook for updates from the festival.

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