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SXSW 2007 Keynote Pete Townshend performed and hosted a showcase called Attic Jam at La Zona Rosa, with appearances by Rachel Fuller, Mika, Martha Wainwright, Willy Mason, Alexi Murdoch, and Joe Purdy. SXSW 2007 saw Lily Allen perform a raucous set at Stubb's. Amy Winehouse performed songs from her new album, Back To Black at SXSW 2007. istrants and artists than ever before. "Although the industry is being increasingly decentralized by technology, person-to-person contact is still king, and one of the best places to get it is at SXSW," stated a report in the Pittsburgh City Paper. Th e showcase roster was as broad and diverse as ever. Lily Allen was the big opening-night buzz artist, even if she never ascended to the heights her packed showcase at Stubb's seemed to promise. Another London-based singer named Amy Winehouse made fewer waves at the conference, though she achieved a higher degree of fame afterward, for better or worse. SXSW Film saw the "mumblecore" fi lms of Joel Swanberg, Andrew note. Lou Reed traveled to Austin to support the release of the Julian Schnabel-directed concert fi lm, Lou Reed's Berlin. More than 1,800 artists performed at SXSW 2008, including Bujalski and the Duplass brothers that the festival had champi- oned begin to be recognized as an innovative new indie fi lm genre. Meanwhile, a fairly unassuming big studio comedy called Knocked Up world-premiered at the festival before going on to become a surprise summer hit nationwide. SXSW Interactive 2007 would come to be known as the year of Twitter. After its soft launch the previous summer, the Twitter team brought atten- tion to its unheralded service in Austin by installing large video screens in the Austin Convention Center hallways where registrants could view live Twitter feeds. Over the course of the conference, the service spread like wildfi re as people discovered the ease and intrigue of its 140-character- max posts; the company claimed that its traffi c tripled during the event. Twitter's momentum only grew, and other entrepreneurs realized that SXSW was the perfect event for social media. Th e following year brought yet another rock legend as music key- Investment, which had been promoting U.K. acts at SXSW for several years, unveiled the British Embassy at Latitude 30, a dedicated venue where U.K. artists played both day parties and nighttime showcases. Th is idea would be copied during the next couple of years by Canada and Australia. "SXSW has provided a tremendous platform for UK Trade & Investment and the British Music partnership to help highlight the exciting new talent that U.K. music has produced over the years," said Phil Patterson, UKTI's Sector Specialist for Music. SXSW Film also featured a number of high-profi le speakers, including Billy Bob Th ornton, Helen Hunt and Moby, who was in the midst of off ering free music for fi lmmakers. Th e festival continued its burgeoning reputation as an outlet for comedies with such fi lms as Run Fatboy Run, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Harold And Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay. One documentary that gained special notice was Body Of War, a fi lm about paraplegic Iraq War veteran Tomas Young. A release party at Stubb's featured musical performances by Tom SXSW ORLD / M AY – J UNE 201 1 R.E.M., a band that had served in the 1980s as a standard-bearer for the kind of regional indie acts that SXSW championed in its early years. Also notable in '08 was an increased presence of international artists, including performers from Brazil, Iran, Malta and Slovenia, as well as packed showcases featuring Mexican acts. "Mexico is our closest neighbor and a principal cultural infl uence in Texas, so it makes sense in countless ways to reach out to them," explained Brent Grulke, SXSW creative director. "Mexico has been represented at SXSW for over a decade now. Once the Mexicans started attending in large numbers and having success, it became easier to convince the rest of Latin America to see the utility of being at SXSW." Meanwhile, the British government trade export agency UK Trade & 17 BRIAN BIRZER PETER PRICE JESSICA ATTIE

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