Slash announces launch of SXSW “hackathon”


Legendary rock guitarist Slash has announced the launch of a music ‘hack-a-thon.’

The event, which is scheduled to take place on 12th March at the SXSW music conference, challenges developers to “create solutions for artists to engage with their communities” using APIs from businesses such as Spotify, Bandsintown and Leap Motion.

The event is structured as a contest, with the winner receiving $1,000 cash, a guitar signed by Slash, and the possibility of having their idea used to promote the musician’s forthcoming solo album. The contest will be judged by Slash himself, BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen and investor Ben Parr.

The “Slashathon,” as it is dubbed, will be run by Geeklist, a social networking site for developers. It has run similar events in the past, as well as the #Hack4Good initiative that encourages hacks around work for charities including Amnesty International and Oxfam.

But the proliferation of hack days and hack-a-thon events such as this has sparked backlash in some quarters of the developer community. Many are asking, if a developer creates something that is genuinely innovative and helps musicians such as Slash better promote their work and make more money, shouldn’t their prize be more than $1000 and a signed guitar?

But perhaps in the eyes of willing participants, the opportunity to work with high profile musicians far outweighs any worries that they have about providing their services for free.

Either way, it’s a fairly safe bet that “Slashathon” will be highly popular when SXSW 2014 finally rolls round.

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