The 2010 edition of the SXSW Music Conference & Festival proved once again that this is the greatest festival in the world. Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Austin City Limits, High Sierra, these are all great events. But no other festival in the world immerses you in four non-stop days and nights of music in an urban setting where you are guaranteed not only to catch some of your favorite bands but also to randomly discover new favorites on pure happenstance because there is so much going on.
Attending SXSW Music is almost a little bit like taking acid (We'll take your word for it – Ed.), in the sense that there's always a little bit of anxiety at the beginning about whether you've planned well enough and will be able to get in to see all the bands you want to. You definitely want to be flexible, but planning is absolutely essential to having the best possible time when there are almost 2,000 bands playing over four days. I encountered several people who said they didn't have as great a SXSW as they could have because they didn't do enough planning. If you don't take the time to make a plan, you're not going to have the best possible time. Going through all the grids to compare who's playing when and where and sample the bands online is time-consuming, but absolutely essential to having the best time possible.
Check back over the next week or so as we continue to write about some of the festivals music highlights!