Now in its 25th year,, Austin’s annual South by Southwest music conference has officially said goodbye to its little-indie-fest-that-could roots — luring topline talent (Kanye West) and corporate sponsorships (Chevy, Pepsi, AOL) along with record crowds. Here, our list of the six-day blowout’s most memorable moments.
1. Kanye West, Jay-Z, and friends wowed at the Seaholm Power Plant
The two titans of hip-hop took over a decommissioned 1950s power plant for a late-night set (curfew: 4 a.m.) with the likes of John Legend and Kid Cudi.
2. Foo Fighters and the Strokes brought back arena rock
Both acts delivered their respective guitar-based mastery to packed (and in the Strokes’ case, near-riot-level) crowds.
3. Jack White showed off a new ride
The rocker and general scene maestro rolled in his mobile Third Man Records store — a banana-yellow vinyl dispensary on wheels — and even played a mini-set (one White Stripes tune and one cover) for rapt fans.
4. Nostalgia acts drew fans…
Duran Duran, the Bangles, and OMD brought out older attendees in droves.
5. …but so did the new guys.
Mark these names: hip-hop collective Odd Future, U.K. singer James Blake, pastoral folkies the Head and the Heart, and spiky Brits the Vaccines.