Whip out your backpack and groom your mustache: it's time for America's favorite festival for interactive, film, and music, South by Southwest. And just like last year, Chevrolet will be tagging along with lots of new goods, including Chevy MyLink. The company will also host a shuttle service, a two-night musical showcase, and a lounge for fest-goers.

SXSW is a great forum for Chevy -- full of relatively young, relatively affluent, typically well-educated folks who are eager to try out the Next Big Thing. So it's no surprise that Chevy will take the opportunity to show off its most fashion-forward rides, including the Volt and the Cruze. (Also featured: the Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette, Equinox, and Traverse.) Attendees will have the opportunity to catch a free ride in one of 30 Cruze sedans, thanks to the complimentary "Catch a Chevy" shuttle service. Other models can be seen at the Austin Convention Center.

Of the many events that Chevy is hosting during the nine-day festival, the two we're most interested in are (a) the Chevolet MyLink demo, and (b) a panel discussion dubbed "The Connected Car: Driving Technology" on March 11, which will include Nick Pudar, vice president for OnStar Business Development and Planning.

MyLink is Chevy's new telematics and infotainment system, offering heavy smartphone integration, and its appearance at SXSW will be MyLink's first demo for consumers. From what we saw at the MyLink debut a couple of weeks ago, it could be a real competitor with comparable systems, like the MyFord Touch. In fact, its feature set -- which includes the ability to run apps directly off smartphones, like navigation apps -- raises some interesting questions, like: what's the point of OnStar? Hopefully, that and other questions will be answered by Mr. Pudar.

For more details about Chevy's presence at SXSW, check the (lengthy) press release below, or visit SXSW.com/Chevrolet.

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Chevrolet Provides Ultimate SXSW Experience

Brand showcasing new technologies and vehicles at the interactive film and music festival, including first consumer demonstration of MyLink

AUSTIN, Texas, March 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- For the second year in a row, Chevrolet is a Super Sponsor of the interactive, film, and music festival South by Southwest (SXSW). Chevrolet is giving attendees the chance to experience new technologies from General Motors, drive the latest products and catch a complimentary ride to popular venues throughout Austin from March 11-20.

Become an Early Adopter of Chevrolet MyLink

SXSW interactive attendees will be the first to experience the power of Chevrolet MyLink in the Austin Convention Center (Trinity Street and 3rd Street). MyLink is an in-car, infotainment package that builds on the safety and security of OnStar and seamlessly integrates online services using hands-free voice and touch-screen controls via Bluetooth® device connectivity.

"South by Southwest is a perfect backdrop to introduce people to Chevrolet MyLink," said Chris Perry, GM vice president, U.S. marketing. "Like South by Southwest itself, MyLink is the ultimate combination of music and technology. The festival also offers an opportunity for Chevrolet and OnStar to evaluate new technologies that may soon help Chevrolet drivers safely stay connected while behind the wheel."

The MyLink system, which will be offered later this year in the Chevrolet Volt and Equinox, features a seven-inch, high-resolution, full-color touch screen display that makes media selection easy to navigate, and provides stereo audio streaming and wireless control of smartphones.

The enhanced hands-free voice control system powered by Nuance® allows simple voice commands to initiate phone calls and select radio stations or media from portable MP3 players and smartphones. Control of apps for Pandora® and Stitcher SmartRadio® enable a driver-directed listening experience while the drivers' smartphone is safety stowed away.

Navigate the Streets of Austin with Chevrolet

Since getting through the crowded festival may be tough, Chevrolet is offering the complimentary "Catch A Chevy" shuttle service to festival-goers. Thirty Chevrolet Cruze sedans will provide continuous service, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., each day of the festival. Attendees can hail a marked vehicle just like a taxi, or visit the Catch A Chevy stop outside of the Austin Convention Center on Trinity and 3rd. Also outside of the Austin Convention Center, attendees can get behind the wheel for test drives of the Chevrolet Volt, Cruze, Camaro, Corvette, Equinox and Traverse.

Connect with Chevrolet

All Catch A Chevy Cruze vehicles at SXSW will feature MS Tags that attendees can scan with their mobile phones to access information about the vehicle's highlights. Chevrolet will also leverage social-media services, including Gowalla, FourSquare, and Qrank, to connect with consumers in Austin. When attendees check into locations using Gowalla and FourSquare, Chevrolet will offer tips on getting into upcoming events or directions to the closest Catch-A-Chevy stop. Using Qrank, attendees can compete with each other in a trivia game, tailored to SXSW and Chevrolet, to win tickets to music concerts or film premieres.

Relax and Recharge

Since the non-stop, 10-day festival is jam-packed with parties, concerts and sessions, attendees can   recharge themselves and their mobile devices in the Volt Recharge Lounge. Throughout the day, the Volt Recharge Lounge will offer attendees a place to rest their feet and recharge their iPhones, Blackberries, laptops and other electronic devices.

Don't Miss a Beat – Chevy Showcase

The Chevy Showcase offers music fans two nights of musical entertainment. The first is March 16, where Chevrolet has an eclectic mix of bands, including Black Cards, Reptar, Dinosaur Feathers, The Hounds Below, New Villager, and The Kickback. This all goes down from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Maggie Mae's (6th Street near Trinity Street). Then on March 19, Chevy Showcase will host another showcase with special acts from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Stubb's Restaurant (Red River Street near 8th Street).

Get Onboard with OnStar

At SXSW, OnStar will discuss the future of connected vehicles. Nick Pudar, vice president, OnStar Business Development and Planning, will join experts from Verizon, Pandora and Qualcomm to moderate a SXSW interactive panel discussion on "The Connected Car: Driving Technology" on March 11 at 5 p.m.

"Over the course of the last 15 years OnStar has grown from delivering safety & security to offer connected in-car mobility services," Pudar said. "In the future, with mobile broadband technology and social web platforms evolving we see an incredible opportunity to leverage the power of OnStar to safely provide drivers everything from access to streaming internet content  to hands-free, social-media status updates and many other customized services."

In addition, 10 SXSW road trip teams will use OnStar technologies as they drive to Austin. The teams, from different cities throughout the United States and Canada, will drive to Austin in Chevrolet vehicles, using OnStar to receive instructions for the trip, post updates through social media channels and download directions to their next destination.

The teams will also evaluate next-generation OnStar technologies, such as using the OnStar Voice Communications App for Android mobile phones, which enables drivers to send and receive text messages and Twitter updates using only their voices. Road trip teams will also test a pilot voice-recognition Turn-by-Turn app that allows customers to say their desired destination and automatically download directions to the vehicle through OnStar.

Want to Know More?

Visit SXSW.com/Chevrolet for regularly updated blog posts, videos, and photos from SXSW, along with interviews with SXSW talent and attendees by TV and web personality Shira Lazar. Chevrolet will also be active on Twitter @Chevrolet and Facebook.com/Chevrolet sharing updates from the festival.