A surprise show by the Flaming Lips in 2006 has been hailed as one of the top music-festival highlights of all time. Here are some other SXSW moments that have made history:

  • 1989: Some jackass comes up with the idea of having legendary musicians deliver keynote addresses rather than thrill and delight people with their actual talents
  • 1991: Founders of the original 1987 South by Southwest feel old for first time
  • 1996: Festival organizers are thrilled by the turnout after having a weird feeling leading up to it that no one liked music anymore
  • 1998: The stars of You've Got Mail are booed off the stage at both SXSW's Film and Interactive festivals
  • 2000: The 1 millionth person officially hears from a friend who went to the festival that Austin is awesome, and totally not what you'd expect Texas to be like
  • 2003: The Brown Bunny premiers at SXSW; audience refuses to discuss anything but how amazing cinematography is
  • 2005: The term "mumblecore" is coined to describe boring, poorly made movies
  • 2006: Laurie Anderson sings Britney Spears' megahit "Hit Me Baby (One More Time)" into a vocoder, dedicating it to "those hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina"
  • 2006: Twitter launches with the infamous first tweet from company founder Jack Dorsey: "What hath God wrought? #toughquestions"
  • 2009: Foursquare debuts, prompting bitter animosity and eventually physical altercations as thousands of nerds vie to become mayor of SXSW