Slash

Rock fans with a “geek” side have an especially good reason to attend this year’s South by Southwest festival next month. Guitar great Slash is set to host and judge the first-ever artist-focused “hackathon.”

Formally dubbed “Slashathon,” the event challenges software developers “to create solutions for artists to engage their communities for an album release.”

The contest takes place March 12 at Austin’s Capitol Factory, where competing software developers will have 12 hours to create their applications and technology. The winner will receive a Gibson guitar autographed by Slash, plus $1,000 in prize money.

Perhaps even better, Slash himself will use the winning hack when he releases his new album later this year. Judges for Slashathon will be Bram Cohen, chief scientist and founder of BitTorrent; Ben Parr, cofounder and managing partner for DominateFund; and, of course, Slash.