AUSTIN (KXAN) - The South by Southwestfestival officially ends Sunday. This year's festival broughtout record crowds for the interactive, film and music portions. Thehuge crowds also spent a lot of money, helping to boost Austin'seconomy and local businesses.
Celebrities showed up at this year's film festival. KristenStewart, Dakota Fanning, and Joan Jett appeared at the ParamountTheater to promote their new movie "The Runaways." Legendary actorsBill Murray, Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek attended the screeningof their new movie "Get Low" at the Paramount.
SXSW Interactive Festival drew in web developers, designers,bloggers, wireless innovators, content producers, programmers,widget inventors and new media entrepreneurs from around the world.The five day festival showcased the latest ideas and innovations ofthe future.
This year's SXSW Music Festival showcased nearly 2,000 musicalacts from around the world. Musicians performed on more than 80stages in downtown Austin.
The 24th annual South By Southwest Closing Barbecue and SoftballTournament will close out the festival. The traditional closingsocial event will run from 12:30-5:30pm Sunday. It is free for allSXSW Music and Platinum registrants.
"We're just as surprised as anybody else by the way things aregoing," said Mike Shea, Former SXSW Director. "Last year was ourbiggest year and this year we're on track to top even that. Sowe're really pleased."
At the airport, there were long lines on the last day offestival.
Courtenay Green and her band "See Green" from Los Angeles areleaving Austin after their first SXSW experience.
"I think it's a great city," said Green. "It seems to care a lotabout music. There was just a genuine sense of support."
Several staff and volunteers capped things off with a game ofsoftball.
"I think it went fabulously," said Nanette Labastida, SXSWSoftball Commissioner. "There were more crowds than ever, but Ididn't hear much backlash, just amazing bands."
The festival's co-founder Nick Barbaro never imagined it wouldever get this big.
"Our mindset was to provide a place for people to come and visitand talk about the music business, and there wasn't an internet atthat point," said Barbaro.
Barbaro is amazed to see what SXSW has turned into, calling thisyear another success.
"It's kinda of funny to do a big event like this," said Barbaro."I judge it by how many things go wrong. Nothing blew up. No onedied. It was a good event!"
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