Big crowds arrive in Austin for SXSW

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by ANDREW HORANSKY / KVUE News and photojournalist ERIN COKER

kvue.com

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 8 at 7:40 PM

AUSTIN -- The storm has come ashore. At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Thursday, the waves of visitors included Alexander Rea, an ad executive from New York. This marks his fourth year at South by Southwest.

“It’s like déjà vu; it’s like all the nerds uniting to form Voltron,” Rea said.

The interactive and film portions of SXSW start Friday. On Thursday, the streets and sidewalks filled up. More than 200,000 people are expected to flood the event, which sits at the center of the tech universe.

Parking may be a challenge. Many SXSW events are now taking up public lots, and in turn taking hundreds of spots out of commission.

On websites such as parkatmyhouse.com, some owners are now charging up to $600 a week to rent their parking spaces.

Food vendors are planning to profit too.

There was a long line Thursday outside Turf N Surf on Congress. Chef Ralph Gilmore said that 10 people are now working from his trailer. They will be serving from 11 a.m.  until 3 a.m. from now until the festival ends. Gilmore said they’re not planning on taking breaks.

SXSW goes through March 18, ending with the music portion.

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