The ostensible “Olympics” of cultural events, South by Southwest (SXSW) has been around since 1987 in Austin, Texas, steadily growing into one of the most commanding and iconic festivals in the world for music, gaming, film & TV, technology and innovation. For the first time in its incredibly long, chaotic history, SXSW will be extending outside of Austin – and the US – and heading down under. Announced this morning, SXSW Sydney will have its inaugural event in October 2023, stretching across seven days in the middle of the month with a myriad of networking events and parties promising to be unlike anything the city has ever seen.
At least that’s the idea. Representing a considerable boost to Sydney’s live events calendar, and a major win for Destination NSW, SXSW Sydney will no doubt be drawing a lot of eyeballs from around the world considering the original SXSW is held in such high regard as the world’s premier festival of culture.
South by Southwest organisers made the surprising announcement this morning, promising to “gather the world’s most inspired thinkers, creators and innovators” to showcase at SXSW Sydney from October 15th through to October 22nd.
#SXSW is heading out of North America for the first time and will be coming to Sydney in 2023 ??? #SXSWSydney— SXSW Sydney (@sxswsydney) June 29, 2022
Sign up for the latest announcements here: https://t.co/c6Dt9gkmz8 pic.twitter.com/wbSCFSO0ac
SXSW CEO Ronald Swenson will be working with TEG and Destination NSW on the event, focusing on the primary goal of SXSW which is “to help creative people achieve their goals.”
As someone who has been over to SXSW in Austin before, it’s difficult to describe just how much of a behemoth it is. It’s a festival without equal, hinged on the best of future-thinking technology propped up with ambitious activations from some of the world’s biggest brands, tourism boards and movie studios. And while all that’s happening, there’s both a loosely structured music festival and a film festival to fill the day with a plethora of things to do.
Some of the most anticipated new movies and TV shows of the year premiere at SXSW, while punters are darting around watching gigs in warehouses, garages, bars and even pharmacists. SXSW is chaos; mecca for the tourism, music, film and technology industries and somewhat of an adult Disneyland for those from around the world who descend upon Austin year after year for the annual event.
Details are fairly scarce for SXSW Sydney so far, but organisers have revealed that no less than 1,000 sessions, screenings, performances, activations and parties will be filling the program to bring the city to life.
Meanwhile, the original SXSW will still be going down in Austin, Texas in March 2023 with tickets now on sale.