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SXSW 2009 vs MusicRadar

Started 23 years ago as an industry-only event for music business types, South by Southwest Music and Media Conference (SXSW) has steadily grown to become one of the largest and most popular music festivals in the United States.

Every March sees downtown Austin, Texas transformed into a buzzing cauldron of panels, conferences, guest speakers, keynotes and industry heads. More importantly, SXSW is also the home for over eighty stages showcasing more than 1800 musical acts of all genres.

Think Sundance for music, think In the City times a million, think a great place to go and discover your new favourite band, whilst watching jetlagged label bosses fighting over who to sign and swarms of hyperactive bloggers trying to unearth this year's Arcade Fire.

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And, of course, MusicRadar is there! Come back between 18 and 22 March and we'll be blogging live from Austin. You can also follow our activities on Twitter - just look for the tweets marked #SXSW.

We'll be reporting on live shows, panels, taking a trip to the Texas Guitar Show, going behind-the-scenes and giving you a flavour of what SXSW 09 is like for the musician and the music fan.

Keep it locked here for more.

Confirmed bands: highlights (full list here)

Andrew Bird
Big Boi (OutKast)
Dan Auerbach
Calvin Harris
The Decemberists
Alela Diane
Graham Coxon
Grizzly Bear
PJ Harvey & John Parish
The Hold Steady
Kid Cudi
Peter Bjorn and John
Primal Scream
The Soft Pack
Third Eye Blind
M Ward
Kanye West (tbc)

Guitar exhibitors: highlights (full list here)

Taylor Guitars
Republic Guitars
Moog Music Inc.
Hanover Amplification
Planet of Sound
Robot Monster
Dynamico Guitars
Jean Larrivee Guitars
Roland Corporation
Jimmy Wallace Guitars
Everline Products
Texas Vintage Guitars
Emile's Fine Guitars
Triple J Guitars