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12 March 2013

Don't worry! 75% of people have never even heard of SxSW

With two Onion articles ridiculing South by Southwest Interactive this year, I've heard a few folks wonder aloud if SxSW has gone too mainstream. And indeed, SxSW is larger than ever. The Austin American-Statesman writes:
This year’s SXSW Interactive proved the biggest yet with 30,621 paying attendees. That was 24.6 percent larger than 2012. The festival had predicted only 5 percent to 8 percent growth but had another of its typical surges of walk-up registration. Last year’s growth rate was a similarly high 27 percent.

Has SxSW gotten too big? I ran a survey to find out. You can see results here (or click on images):

The 25-44 age range of the US Internet population has the highest awareness (A=25-44, B=18-24, C=55+):

Overall, a vanishingly small number of people say they have gone to SxSW. It's likely an overestimate, since respondents may mean another festival (e.g., assuming SxSW, Coachella, and others are related), or have been in Austin during the festival (i.e., the UT student body):

To put that 30,000 number in perspective: The Consumer Electronics Show had an attendance of over 150,000 this year. PyCon 2013 sold out all 2500 tickets.

So don't worry! It's still esoteric. The chances are low that you've even heard of SxSW.
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