FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

South by Southwest (SXSW)

by Akhil Kalepu

Mar 1, 2015

Wildflag at SXSW in Austin, Texas © Kris Krüg | Flickr

Top Trends

For those unfamiliar with the brand, South by Southwest is an arts and media conference set in Austin, Texas. What started as a simple festival grew to become a collection of SXSW events covering music, film, comedy, technology, education, start-ups and more. Quite simply, there is so much going on, it would be impossible for someone to partake in everything the gathering has to offer.


Wolf Man Performer on 6th Street at SXSW, Austin, Texas © Berkshots | Dreamstime 27432250

Wolf Man Performer on 6th Street at SXSW, Austin, Texas © Berkshots | Dreamstime


Its roots go back to 1986, when Ronald Swenson of The Austin Chronicle and New York City’s New Music Seminar wanted to do a Southwest version in Austin, which back then was much more under-the-radar as a city. Though it never got organized, Swenson went ahead and put together a local music festival, whose name was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. He teamed up with Chronicle editor Louis Black and publisher Nick Barbaro, who are still key members of SXSW. Expecting around 150 attendees for their 1987 inauguration, the organizers were surprised to see a crowd of 700 show up for what they advertised as a regional event, with Black remarking “it was national almost immediately.”


Diplo at Sights and Sounds, SXSW in Austin, Texas © Nan Palmero | Flickr

Diplo at Sights and Sounds, SXSW in Austin, Texas © Nan Palmero | Flickr


Since then, SXSW has grown in both scope and ambition. Their film festival has hosted more than 50 world premiers, including the Academy Award-winning Hurt Locker. SXSW Interactive, which has been called a start-up accelerator, has showcased notable speakers from Mark Zuckerberg to Edward Snowden and Julien Assange. It also saw the launch of Foursquare and helped get some early traction for Twitter before hitting the mainstream.


Live Skype Q&A with NASA at SXSW in Austin, Texas © NASA Webb | Flickr

Live Skype Q&A with NASA at SXSW in Austin, Texas © NASA Webb | Flickr


At its heart, SXSW is still a music conference, with so many performances across the city no two people are going to have the same experience. In addition to tech start-ups, the festival has been known to serve as a launching pad for up-and-coming acts. John Mayer, The Polyphonic Spree and James Blunt were able to crossover into the mainstream thanks to performances there, though critics are starting to admonish the growing emphasis on mainstream entertainment. 2013’s gathering was marked by a high corporate presence in SXSW Interactive, with detractors like NPR’s Andrea Swensson saying the festival has, “strayed far away from its original premise as a grassroots gathering for new, undiscovered talent and increasingly feels like a big ol’ Times Square billboard-sized commercial.”



Insta Feed
Trends / LGBTQ
Apr 6, 2020

LGBTQ+ Costa Rica

THE TIMING COULDN’T BE BETTER for LGBTQ+ travelers to visit Costa Rica. This verdant hot spot renowned for its eco-friendly policies is gearing up to become the first nation in Central America to legalize same-sex marriage.

Unique Places to Stay on the Island of Ireland

Whether it’s a friendly B&B, a luxurious castle or a cliff-top lighthouse, accommodation on the island of Ireland is like no other. With a warm welcome guaranteed, enjoy the very best of Irish hospitality.

Tips / Destination
Apr 6, 2020

Washington, D.C.’s Hamilton Hotel Offers Daily Room Rentals for Those Looking for a Home Office

Hamilton Hotel, in downtown Washington, D.C., offers its rooms for use as home offices for people who need safe, clean work environments outside of their home. Guests can make booking by calling the hotel directly at 202.682.0111.

Top 5 / Other
Apr 6, 2020

Top 5: Unusual Jobs That Pay for Your Travel Habit

Even with the most creative travel reward hacking and budget strategies, wanderlust typically comes with a price tag. Fund your travel habit with these five unusual jobs that put a flexible and fun income in your pocket for exploring.

Pack Your Bags, You’re Going to Tokyo!

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is the largest airline in Japan. With flights from the United States to Japan and all of Asia, it's the perfect airline to book your next trip with. From ANA's amazing in-flight food to its excellent customer service, it comes as no surprise ANA has been awarded five stars for its seventh consecutive year by the SKYTRAX World Airline Rating.

Trends / Food & Drink
Apr 3, 2020

Singapore Airlines and AeroFarms Launch Farm-to-Plane Initiative

IN A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND PARTNERSHIP, Singapore Airlines and AeroFarms, the leader in indoor vertical farming, launched a Farm-to-Plane initiative to bring the world’s freshest inflight produce to Singapore flights from Newark International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport.