Record setting crowds for SXSW

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by JADE MINGUS / KVUE NEWS and Photojournalist DAVID GARDNER

Bio | Email | Follow: @JadeM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 18 at 6:21 PM

AUSTIN -- From emergency response to hotel bookings, South by Southwest crowds had a big impact on Austin during the annual festival.

This year, the number of SXSWedu badge holders doubled, the number of interactive badge holders jumped by more than 6,000 and the music portion overwhelmed the streets of downtown.

By Monday morning cleaning crews had replaced crowds at the Austin Convention Center. Across the street, Downtown Burgers was stocking back up after serving some 9,000 meals during the festival.

"It's by far my biggest week of the year," said owner Steve McDermott. "Missing South by is like missing the boat." 

Hotels including the Four Seasons were booked solid, as visitors flocked to Austin from all over the world.

"The demand for rooms coming in was stronger than we have ever seen it before," said general manager Rob Hagelberg. 

Austin Travis County EMS saw a 165 percent increase in downtown incidents during the festival. While Austin police arrested 69 people downtown during the music portion alone.

In 2012, SXSW injected $190 million into the Austin economy. Festival organizers are calculating the economic impact for this year.

Stay up to date on KVUE's SXSW coverage on your mobile device with our free "KVUE News" mobile app. You can also see more SXSW stories and slideshows on KVUE.com here.

 

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