When he first made his South By Southwest-related Twitter last year, Cameron Clark’s original intention was to organize the SX-chaos for his friends. As the man behind the Twitter handle with close to 10,000 followers — @CameronAtSXSW — Clark said he’s never taken Twitter seriously.
“It’s just social media, after all,” Clark said. “It’s fun to get hyped up, to get excited about something I’m looking forward to, and to play the ‘who’s coming to South by’ guessing game.”
Clark, a 24-year-old web developer and graphic designer from Dallas, Texas, said he focuses on SXSW rumors because he likes generating excitement about the lineup. Outside of the rumor realm, Clark said he gets dozens of emails a day asking for event promotion, and doesn’t mind sharing some of them through his Twitter.
“If an event has a good lineup, if it has free stuff, or if it’s unique, then it will stand out and I’ll notice it,” Clark said. “I shy away from the people who are like ‘Hey, can you post my band’s new video?’ and stuff like that, but if someone has a showcase or party or event or whatever, I don’t mind [posting] it at all.”
To develop his predictions and interpret possible SXSW shows, Clark said he checks out artist tour schedules through hosts like Songkick or Bandsintown, searching through concerts and events happening in Texas around the time of SXSW. Aside from schedule scanning and keeping up with music industry news, Clark said he also asks around by emailing tour managers, tweeting at band members and talking to venue staffers.
“There are a few people I know who give me info about events, but it’s mostly just me doing my research and asking around,” Clark said.
Ashley Beard and Marshall Wesney of @SXSWhoa, another SXSW-rumor reporting Twitter account with over 7 thousand followers, said they also started their Twitter in order to aggregate SXSW events for themselves without flooding their personal timelines. After the Twitter account’s creation last year, Beard and Wesney gained roughly 1.5 thousand followers in the first two months. Wesney said the Twitter page was never about gaining followers, but to help attendees sort through the large amount of SX-related noise on the Internet.
“We realized you have to be smart to have fun at South by Southwest and in this day and age, Twitter provides a tool that easily trumps having lots of friends to call you and tell you what’s going on where,” Beard said. “Our mission statement is that we want everyone to have a badass time, and if you do what we’re doing, we can guarantee you will.”
While Clark was incorrect about his SXSW 2013 Kanye West prediction, he said he’s most proud of his correct Justin Timberlake prediction, which he had predicted in an article for RSVPster earlier that year.
“That was one of those ‘this will never happen, but what if’ things that actually panned out,” Clark said.
This year, Beard and Wesney have already been correct on their SX-predictions for Zedd, Capital Cities, Cee-Lo Green, Mac Miller, Skrillex, Snoop Dog and Soundgarden, amongst a few others. While they also predicted Justin Timberlake to play the conference last year, they were most let down by their prediction for Daft Punk.
“Everyone kept saying Daft Punk would perform at the Capital,” Beard said. “We were thrown off by the Random Access Memories posters found around town.”
As for this year, Clark said his favorite confirmed rumor is St. Vincent, and unconfirmed is Brand New. While he said he didn’t want to spoil anything that’s been told to him in confidence, he advised to watch out for a “something big” from Yahoo!, as well as for The Illmore, and may have confirmed one big-name celebrity.
“I think everyone knows that Gaga is happening by now,” Clark said.
SXSW-PREDICTION/RUMOR/PARTY TWITTERS TO LOOK OUT FOR:
Cameron Clark (@CameronAtSXSW)
What to look for: An essentially constant flow of tips and confirmed rumors.
Ashley Beard and Marshall Wesney (@SXSWhoa)
What to look for: Real SXSW tips and snarky advice.
Clinton Camper (@SXSWISLIFE)
What to look for: A pretty inclusive SXSW inspired Spotify playlist and rumors.
What to look for: Free show tips and advice on #SXShoes.
What to look for: All the rumors and tips on which parties you actually need to RSVP for.
SXSW Partylist! (@SXSWPartyList)
What to look for: Information about all the parties you don’t have time to go to.