Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Austin this past week for the 2012 South by Southwest Music Conference. This year saw the extension of the festival to include an extra day to highlight even more music from internationally known stars like Bruce Springsteen to unknown acts like Birdlegg and The Texas Tightfit Blues Band.

For some, SXSW is a week that will make or break their music career. For others, it’s an opportunity to hear first-hand what industry professionals have to say about topics ranging from branding partnerships, signing bands, social media strategy, building communities, legal issues surrounding the cloud and more.

We captured some of the many interesting people and places that make SXSW an essential experience for anyone who loves music. Check out some of our pics below.

Dan Deacon directs the crowd at Stubb's.

Where the magic happens.

The Day Stage where acts like The Big Pink performed.

Birdlegg getting 'too funky' with a James Brown cover.

AraabMuzic moving swiftly at Tops on East 5th Street.

Reggie Watts give us a thumbs up before heading into the Flamingo Cantina to perform.

Doug Benson performing for the relatively new comedy portion of SXSW

A-Trak gets down at the Turntable.FM / RCRD LBL showcase.

One of many unique unofficial SXSW activities.

An artist carefully paints a url on the Fader Fort walls.

Wahaka Mezcal was the drink of choice at Papi Tino's on Friday.

Thrasher Magazine set up their halfpipe backstage.

A plea from Bjork for funds.

Interview with the lead singer of OFF! Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks).

The audience joins the band for Van Morrison's 'Gloria'.

One of 375 rickshaws that roam the city looking for fares.

GZA puts on an unforgettable performance with Grupo Fantasma


Photos from SXSW 2012: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4