The world's premier music industry panel, SXSW, will be returning as a virtual festival following the cancellation of this year's event due to COVID-19.
SXSW Online 2021 will go down from March 16 through to March 2020 next year, with the event consisting of conference call keynotes and sessions, screenings, showcases, networking and digital exhibitions.
In lieu of the regular application process for the event, SXSW's music festival component will be handpicked by the event's programming stuff, with priority being given to presenters and artists who were supposed to perform at the 2020 event. Fingers crossed we get to see some of the Aussies who were meant to play this year through our Zoom screens next March!
On top of lamenting the cancellation of this year's event - which also saw SXSW instigate major layoffs to stay afloat - SXSW's CEO Roland Swenson expressed his excitement at the prospect of an online event in a statement released today.
“The challenge of building a new future is one that we’re excited to tackle. This has been such a year of change and we, like the entire world, are reshaping our perspective on how we connect.
"We’re pleased to be working on SXSW Online as part of our program for 2021, and regardless of platform, we will continue to bring together the brightest minds from creative industries worldwide.”
SXSW have also noted that they're still in talks to hold some form of physical event in Austin in 2021, but given the current state of things, we're assuming that there'll be few very international attendees. Nevertheless, it's reassuring to see the festival return to some degree: fingers crossed more events follow suit.
Find out more about SXSW 2021's Online Festival here.