Andrew W.K. performing at SXSW 2018, by Derrick Weber/Variance

For a 32nd consecutive year, Austin was once again the place to be in mid-March, with hundreds of thousands of film, music, tech and gaming lovers descending on the Texas capitol for SXSW 2018.

As we mentioned in our 2018 recap, this year's event was noticeably pared down, perhaps intentionally in an effort to address safety and quality concerns and then perhaps unintentionally as a result of years of bloating and unrealistic expectations.

Despite the difference in scale, the focus seemed to be properly aimed at discovery and up-and-comers, with a string of familiar faces showing up for one-off performances, including Phantogram, Miguel, T.I., Common, Jhené Aiko, Local Natives, Sylvan Esso, Muse's Matt Bellamy and Questlove, the latter of whom DJ'd a set hours after The Roots' annual Bud Light-sponsored jam was canceled because of a false alarm bomb threat.

While those performances were certainly welcome, the week belonged to a number of rising artists making their mark and aiming to follow in the footsteps of some of the aforementioned.

Some of the SXSW standouts included Dermot Kennedy, Billie Eilish, Superorganism, DUCKWRTH, NoMBe, Kodie Shane, Yoke Lore and others.

See some of the photo highlights below, including live images and portraits.