South by Southwest (SXSW) is heading to Sydney in 2023 for its first festival outside the US

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South by Southwest (SXSW) is heading to Sydney in 2023 for its first festival outside the US

sxsw sydney
Words by Talia Rinaldo

The legendary US festival of creativity South by Southwest is expanding outside Austin, Texas for the first time, heading to Sydney next year.

In a major coup for Sydney and Australia, the renowned tech, music, film and cultural festival South by Southwest (SWSW) is heading to Australia next year for an epic eight-day activation.

Landing in Australia in October 2023, Sydney will be the official annual host of the Asia-Pacific instalment of SXSW, the first city to host the event outside of North America. Ever. The harbour city will play host to a collision of creativity and culture, forming the centre-point for changemakers during this exciting event.

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Since 1987, Austin, Texas has been the central hub for the world’s music industry each March, bringing together big names and emerging artists in tech, film, music, culture, gaming and education industries for SXSW, attracting close to 100 thousand registered attendees, speakers and media members from around the world to each year.

A dream for many, the festival is now within reach for many Australian creators and music lovers.

Running from Sunday, October 15 – Sunday, October 22, 2023, SXSW (the AUS version) will fill Sydney with more than one thousand events, including keynote speakers, panels and summits, product demonstrations, artist performances, screenings, live gaming sessions and networking events and parties across eight days.

Much like its Austin edition, the festival will feature a program spanning music, screen, gaming and tech across the one-week event, but will put a focus on creatives and thinkers from the Asia-Pacific.

SXSW Sydney is a collaboration with event producer TEG, the New South Wales government and Destination NSW.

“We couldn’t be more excited and honored [sic] to work with TEG and the New South Wales Government via Destination NSW on an event that brings to Australia the professional opportunities and unexpected discoveries that make SXSW unique,” said SXSW co-founder and CEO Roland Swenson.

“The purpose of SXSW is to help creative people achieve their goals, and Sydney is the ideal city to serve as a home for the cross-collaboration that exists within the many industries we bring together.”

“Focusing on the creator industries in the Asia-Pacific region, SXSW Sydney will celebrate what’s next in culture, tech and the regions thriving creative economy,” SXSW Sydney Managing Director Colin Daniels said.

“Put simply, SXSW is the Olympics of events for the creator industries, and we are thrilled to bring this legendary festival of gaming, music, screen, tech and innovation to Sydney in 2023,” CEO of SXSW Sydney’s event producer TEG said.

SXSW will happen in Sydney from Sunday 15 to Sunday 22 October, 2023. For those that want to continue the annual pilgrimage overseas, SXSW will continue its usual programming in Austin with a 2023 festival locked in for March.

Find out more here