Roll Call’s Guide to SXSW Interactive
Watch out, Austin: Washington is coming to town.
The Interactive week of mega-festival South By Southwest will attract more than 30,000 nerds to the Texas capital, and more of them than ever are coming from Capitol Hill. No fewer than six members of Congress are slated to make appearance — a record number — and many more Hill staffers are coming along for the ride.
Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., are all speaking on panels at the Interactive festival. Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., are taking part in an Economist-led panel on local tech economies.
Most of the members are first-timers, with the exception of Moran, whose SXSW appearance will be his third. Moran, who we already know can’t say no to good ‘cue, recommends Iron Works BBQ in Austin and plans to dine there again this year, according to a spokesman.
But there could have been even more Capitol representation at SXSW: Before his resignation in January, Florida Republican Rep. Trey Radel was scheduled to present a social media session called Vine to Spotify: Making Politics Personal Again. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis had also been penciled in but had to back out because of schedule conflicts.
As always, the hardest part of SXSW is having enough time to see everything and everyone on your list. There are hundreds of Interactive sessions (and almost as many parties) happening over the next week. We’ve put together a short list below of the sessions that will be most interesting to people coming to Austin from the Hill.
Friday, March 7
Star Power: Innovative Ways to Engage Millennials
Alex Wagner of MSNBC and Rosario Dawson of Voto Latino
Austin Convention Center Room 6AB
How to Beat the Man (without Becoming the Man)
Austin Convention Center Room 5ABC
Sunday, March 9
Economist Breakfast Discussion on Local Tech Economies
including Matthew Bishop of The Economist and Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Mark Warner, D-Va.
bGiv Social Good Space, Sixth Street and I-35
Policymakers & Startups Can Build Ecosystems
including Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Suzan DelBene, D-Wash.
Hilton Austin Downtown Salon C
Monday, March 10
Obama & Beyond: Political Tech in Business
Hilton Downtown Austin
A Texas Filibuster: How Streaming Politics Beat TV
Driskill Hotel Maximilian
Music Law Up, Down and Around Capitol Hill
Austin Convention Center Room 9ABC
Facebook Politics, Government, Non-profits Happy Hour
Friday, March 7, 3-6 p.m.
Digital DC Day Party
Saturday, March 8, 3-5 p.m.
DC All-Star Event
Saturday, March 8, 8 p.m.