SXSW, or South by Southwest, is an annual set of festivals and conferences that focus on a variety of topics, including music, film, interactive media, education, environment, and the startup industry. From its beginnings in 1987 as a small music festival, it has grown to be a worldwide leader in the many areas it covers. Thousands perform and participate, many independent films are screened, and future technologies are showcased. Musicians, actors, comedians, and a host other performers have been discovered at the festivals, and it’s a key ground for people of wide-ranging interests to meet and share ideas. SXSW events run for several days, and are held in Austin, Texas, and Las Vegas, Nevada.