To a great extent these unofficial events have begun to overshadow the festival proper. They have numbers on their side, not to mention the sense of spectacle they've brought to the event. One estimate I've seen is that there are over 1,000 unofficial events happening this year, and I'm bound to believe that figure since it came from someone who built an entire business that does nothing more than secure its clients invites for unofficial SXSW events. RSVPSX, run by 25-year-old Kaitlyn Reed, sounds like a joke from a very inside-baseball comedy sketch about SXSW and the industry types it attracts, but is apparently a real thing that actually exists.
I'm also inclined to believe that figure because I spent seven hours yesterday signing up for unofficial events, which is approximately six and three-quarters hours more than it takes to actually sign up for the festival proper. If you're making the trip down and you don't already have an e-mail folder full of RSVPs, you should probably get on that. And maybe I'll see you at Hype Machine's Hype Hotel presented by Taco Bell. Feed the beat!