Austin slammed with newcomers and returning fans of South By Southwest


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Music fans, film buffs and tech giants are all flooding into the Austin Streets. There are a lot of new things to check out this year at South by Southwest. 

The first — and most noticeable — are the traffic concerns with the new additions of electronic scooters throughout the streets. 

There’s also a new level of importance placed on the health sector, as well. 

Finally, we are seeing a surge of political candidates taking to the stage to talk directly to the people all weekend.   

“It’s the first day, everyone is looking forward to so many crazy things,” said Glenda McKinney, who lives in Austin. 

“It’s like a memory that you get to hold on to,” said Chase Sadler, who also lives in Austin: 

 Austinites and people from all over the globe are flooding downtown. 

“We just spoke to someone from Norway and from India before that! Yeah, it was incredible!” said Heather Mahoney and her friend, Elle Siebert, who both live in Washington, D.C. 

There were the familiar sights: Long lines, respected speakers and the occasional photo-opp.  

“It’s just very fast paced. You have to arrive and get ready and know what you want to do,” said one woman who flew all the way in from Detroit. 

But there were some new flavors added to the mix, as well.  

“[The scooters] are not safe, but they sure are fun,” Sadler said. 

“We’re going to double up on a scooter later, we saw a really tall and short couple doing it, so we are going to try that out, for sure,” Siebert said. 

One thing hasn’t changed: the opportunity this festival brings to those looking to grow both personally and professionally. 

“That’s the primary purpose. To learn from people in different industries to see how things are done,” said KC Nwogu, who lives in Omaha. 

“It’s fun to collide with some of those different ideas and get your world view changed a little bit,” said Thomas Knoll, who lives in New Orleans. 

This weekend, KXAN is covering events under the umbrella of “conversations about America’s future.” They feature several presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle. 

Some recognizable names include former Ohio governor John Kasich and Democratic presidential candidate from Texas, Julian Castro. 

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