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AUSTIN, Texas -- Big crowds will pack Austin starting Friday for the start of this year's South BySouthwest Festival.

Over the next nine days, more than 2,200 bands, 400 films, and countless new and exciting technology will bring more than $218 million into the Austin economy.

Louis Black with the Austin Chronicle helped start the now-internationally known music, film and interactive festival in 1987.

We started getting it explained to us that SXSW was too big the third year, and have heard that every year since then. My son's now 23, and it's kind of like saying 'hasn't he gotten too big?' Ha! Black said.

SXSW Interactive is March 7-11 and will showcase the latest innovations in technology, trade shows and speakers like NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

SXSW has left its humble beginnings to become one of the largest festivals in the world, but the man behind the madness says it's still uniquely Austin.

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