Just In: South by South West Is Coming to Sydney Next Year for Its First Festival Outside the US

The renowned tech, music, film and cultural festival is heading Down Under for an eight-day activation.
Ben Hansen
June 30, 2022

Huge news: South by South West (SXSW) is coming to Sydney in October of 2023 for its first festival outside of its longtime home in Austin, Texas. The world-renowned festival has been bringing together big names and rising stars in tech, film, music, gaming, culture and education industries since it first began in 1987.

Now, it's heading Down Under for the first time, with its week-long edition in Sydney set to become the official location of SXSW's annual Asia-Pacific installment.

Running from Sunday, October 15–Sunday, October 22, 2023, the new iteration of SXSW will fill the city with more than 1000 sessions, screenings, performances, parties, networking events and activations over eight days.

The Sydney iteration of the festival will bring a wide variety of events hailing from the US edition, but with a greater emphasis on creatives and thinkers from the Asia-Pacific.

"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.

Alongside the Sydney edition of the festival, SXSW will continue its usual programing in Austin with a 2023 festival locked in for March.

The festival returned in-person earlier this year after an online iteration in 2021 due to the pandemic. It was headlined by talks from Mark Zuckerberg, Lizzo and Neal Stephenson; performances from Dolly Parton and Beck; premieres of films such as Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Lost City and upcoming A24 horror movie Bodies, Bodies, Bodies; and a Q&A with the cast and crew of Donald Glover's critically acclaimed TV show Atlanta.

Atlanta Season 3 premiered at SXSW 2022 with a cast and crew Q&A.

Over the years, SXSW has featured appearances from the likes of Barack Obama, Dave Grohl, Jordan Peele, Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga and Arnold Schwarzenegger to name just a few — as well as large-scale activations. It also acted as an important space for young musicians, filmmakers and creatives to cut their teeth.

The festival has had a close relationship with Australia over the past few years, with Sounds Australia running the Australia House showcase at the festival since 2018 featuring up-and-coming Australian musicians. Major Australian musical exports including Flume, Alison Wonderland, Nick Murphy, Tkay Maidza, Gang of Youths, RUFUS DU SOL and Courtney Barnett have all made appearances at SXSW over the years

You can head to the SXSW Sydney website to register your interest for the 2023 event and stay up-to-date as new information emerges over at the festival's Instagram.

South by South West will host its inaugural Sydney festival Sunday, October 15–Sunday, October 22, 2023.

Published on June 30, 2022 by Ben Hansen
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