With more than 1,400 musical acts officially strutting their rock 'n' roll stuff in Austin this week -- and hundreds more in town just to play for the crowds who are already there -- music fans looking to South by Southwest for the "next big thing" could be easily overwhelmed.
ABC News asked a few experts to wade through the refuse.
Nic Harcourt, Tastemaker
Claim to Fame: Host of KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic"
Band to Do List: Birdmonster ("a really good band"); Langhorne Slim; The Watson Twins; Tom Brosseau; Robbers on High Street; Dengue Fever ("An L.A. pop band with a Cambodian singer … really different, really unique"); Amy Winehouse ("Huge buzz on this girl … We're going to try and get her on the show."); What Made Milwaukee Famous; Eastern Conference Champions; Ane Brun; Polyphonic Spree; Simon Dawes; Amy Millan (of Stars); Alexi Murdoch; Jets Overhead
Kevin Calaba, Indie Rocker
Occupation: Vocals, guitar and keyboards for Oregon indie rockers Stars of Track and Field
Veteran or Virgin? Two-year veteran
Claim to Fame: Playing five shows this year. Or nine. (He's not really sure, but it's a lot.)
Band to Do List: Spoon; Seawolf; Nordic Night; "Who knows? I might not be able to see anything."
SXSW Is: A zoo.
Amy Schroeder, Critic
Claim to Fame: Editor and founder of Venus Zine, a music magazine that focuses on women
SXSW Is: Like Mardi Gras, but without people flashing themselves
Band to Do List: Matt and Kim; The Watson Twins; The Buzzcocks ; The Stooges; Lee "Scratch" Perry; Aesop Rock; Lily Allen; Asobi Seksu; Aziz Ansari (comedian); Jello Biafra (spoken word); The Bird and the Bee; Blonde Redhead; Bonde do Role; Vashti Bunyan; Catfish Haven; Cold War Kids; The Gossip; Albert Hammond Jr.; Kid Sister; Macromantics
Jordan Jeffares, Tour-Weary Bandmate
Occupation: Guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist for Atlanta's Snowden
Claim to Fame: Snowden is playing at least seven shows in four days.
SXSW Is: Like spring break for music people.
Band to Do List: Beachhouse from Baltimore ("I'm dying to see them."); Deerhunter ("Our hometown heroes"); Black Lips; Peter, Bjorn and John; Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin ("Like baby Wilco"); Of Montreal; Black Angels
Craig Thibaudeau, Austin Local
Occupation: Production manager at a sign company
Claim to Fame: Waited in line for wristbands for four hours
Veteran or Virgin? Three-year veteran
Band to Do List: Donovan; The Antibalas; Lucero; Glossary
SXSW Discovery: Gogol Bordello in 2005
Michael Showalter, Comedian
Claim to Fame: The show "The State," the movie "Stella," the comedy troupe Baxter and witticisms unavailable on network television.
Veteran or Virgin? Virgin
Band to Do List: Amy Winehouse. "She's like Shirley Bassey for the 21st century."
Amrit Singh, Blogger
Claim to Fame: One of the two brains behind music blog Stereogum.com
Band to Do List: New Violators ("urgent, epic New Wave and [with] a Moz-in-the-making frontman, Per Borten."); The Twilight Sad ("grand, postmodern anthem rock"); Slaraffenland ("For fans of cinematic Scandinavian rock and candlelit make-out sessions.")
Rob Duffy, Ohio Writer
Claim to Fame: Writes four-year-old Ohio-based music blog Donewaiting.com.
Veteran or Virgin? Four-year veteran
Band to Do List: Jesse Sykes; Amy Winehouse; Land of Talk; Dirty on Purpose.
Best SXSW Performance: The Flaming Lips (2005); Nada Surf (2004)
Tim Krings, Super Fan