Every March, there are two great migrations to Austin, Texas. The first is the arrival of the city’s huge Mexican free-tailed bat colony, which spends the summer and fall living, breeding, and hunting in and around the Congress Street Bridge. When the colony’s newborn bat pups take wing in August, more than 1.5 million bats share the skies above the capitol city.
The second migration is generally considered to be much weirder. March in Austin also means South by Southwest, which for nearly 30 years has gathered the world’s finest creative minds in technology, music, and film to discuss wicked problems and innovate solutions across industries. The festival has been a launching point for apps like Twitter and Foursquare and hosted talks by tech developers and world leaders, including a 2016 appearance by Barack Obama.