South by Southwest, an annual, 10-day event that includes music, film and interactive festivals, kicked off Friday in Austin, Texas.
SXSW 2012 boasts established and rising stars alike. On the film side, a comedy remake of the 1980s TV cop drama 21 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum will screen, as will Casa di Mi Padre starring Will Ferrell. Fans of NBC's Parks and Recreation will recognize buzz worthy comedienne Aubrey Plaza in the romantic comedy Safety Guaranteed, which some early critics suspect could be the hipster movie darling of 2012.
Music lovers will be treated to an almost insurmountable schedule of concerts. Bruce Springsteen, the festival's keynote speaker, will be performing a super secret show somewhere around Austin, and Tom Morello will take the stage at a Rolling Stone event under his folksinger pseudonym, The Nightwatchman. Kanye West and Jay-Z are also slated to perform.
Among the many Indie music acts certain to generate big SXSW buzz are Glasgow band We Were Promised Jetpacks, former Brooklyn warehouse worker Devin and New Zealand songstress Kimbra.
As for the interactive festival, former Vice President Al Gore's interview with Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, looks to be the headlining event.
South by Southwest is only the beginning of a string of yearly US festivals. Still to come are Coachella, Bonnaroo and the infamous Burning Man.