Someday in the distant future, our kids might ask us: "Mom, dad -- when exactly did the South By Southwest festival jump the shark?" And we'll answer them: "Kid, it was when MTV moved in."
OK, maybe that's harsh. But how else to take the fact that MTV today announced it will move its mtvU Woodie Awards to the festival? SXSW started out showcasing the exact type of music that MTV didn't, so this represents a commercialization of an event that while popular, has always eschewed that sort of things outright. Also, since the Woodies represent "the music voted best by college students," the demographic of the attendees might change (is it time for a "Spring Break SXSW" reality show with "hottest tattoo" contests?),
Whatever the case, the press release goes as follows:
"mtvU Woodie Awards: In its first move outside of New York City, the 6th annual “mtvU Woodie Awards” will air LIVE for the first time ever on Wednesday, March 16 at 12AM (ET/PT) on MTV, MTV2 and mtvU from the Austin Music Hall in Austin, Texas during the South By Southwest Music Festival."
And here's more:
With over 3.1 million votes, the “2009 mtvU Woodie Awards” delivered the highest number of votes in Woodies history. College students established the “mtvU Woodie Awards” in 2004 and has since propelled numerous recognized acts to the next level of their careers – including surging record sales, headlining tours and mainstream notoriety. Examples include: Fall Out Boy (Streaming Woodie ’04), the Killers (Breaking Woodie ’04), Death Cab for Cutie (Best Video Woodie ’05), Plain White Ts (Breaking Woodie ’06), Gym Class Heroes (Woodie of the Year ’07), Paramore (Woodie of the Year ‘08) and Matt & Kim (Best Video Woodie ’09).
Yep, the Plain White Ts are in there. The AV Club Austin had a few funny things to say about all this if anyone's in the mood to laugh after that.