I first attended SXSW in 1998, what some consider to be its heyday. However, even then my first trip was nearly soured ahead of time by criticisms that it was a corporate affair and not about independent music (and therefore not “authentic” at all). I found that to be only partly true then; and it’s only partly true now. As long as bands like the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Fucked Up are playing, it’s still at least partly about music above all else, for artists and fans, and not completely about making money, for artists, labels, promoters and marketers. Besides, the conference side is arguably useful for people who see music as a business.
Digitize and Monetize Me, or The Battle of Digital Asskicking