Just In: Chance The Rapper Will Speak at SXSW Sydney to Celebrate 50 Years of Hip Hop

A month out from the first-ever SXSW outside of the US, the festival's lineup just keeps getting bigger.
Sarah Ward
Published on September 11, 2023

When one of the biggest cultural events in the world is expanding Down Under for the first time ever, and the same year marks half a century since hip hop began, what's the best way to celebrate? With the debut SXSW Sydney welcoming Chance The Rapper to its stage to mark the occasion. The three-time Grammy-winner will have no problem reflecting on the milestone in Australia come October — and making an already-massive SXSW lineup even heftier.

"As we celebrate 50 years of hip hop in 2023, I'm reminded of the transformative power this culture has had, not just on the world stage, but on the streets of Chicago's South Side," said Chance The Rapper, announcing his SXSW Sydney stint.

"Hip hop has provided a rhythm to our stories and a canvas for our creativity. I'm really looking forward to joining SXSW Sydney as a speaker to expound upon hip hop's transcendent legacy."

Julio Enriquez via Wikimedia Commons.

The 'Hot Shower', 'I Might Need Security' and 'Do You Remember' singer-songwriter, aka Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, will hit Australia during the Sunday, October 15–Sunday, October 22 event amid global celebrations of hip hop's birth. It was in August 1973 that DJ Kool Herc first isolated percussion breaks, then repeated them — and made history.

At SXSW Sydney, Chance The Rapper will chat about hip hop's immense impact, not just where the Chicago-born and -raised star grew up but also globally.

Anthony Quintano via Wikimedia Commons.

"Chance The Rapper is renowned for both his chart topping and community advocacy. There's few out there like him, who take what they've made and use it to build the dreams of others," notes SXSW Sydney Managing Director Colin Daniels.

"His genre-blurring sounds reverberate across generations, making him a powerful voice to reflect on the past 50 years of hip hop. His unique perspective bridges the gap between the genre's rich history and its dynamic future."

Julio Enriquez via Wikimedia Commons

Chance The Rapper joins SXSW Sydney's speakers lineup alongside Coachella CEO Paul Tollett, Queer Eye star Tan France, Future Today Institute founder and CEO Amy WebbLayne Beachley, Osher Günsberg and plenty more — a 700-plus strong bill of talent so far, in fact, covering over 300 sessions.

SXSW Sydney will also feature more than 300 gigs across 25 venues, and has been dropping its music highlights and must-attend parties since earlier in 2023. Its dedicated gaming strand will include a dedicated tabletop game expo. And, the SXSW Sydney Screen Festival will open with The Royal Hotel, and host the world premiere of Hot Potato: The Story of the Wiggles.

The entire event — the festivals within the bigger fest, exhibitions, talks, networking opportunities and streetside activations — will happen within a walkable precinct in the Sydney CBD, Haymarket, Darling Harbour, Ultimo, Chippendale and more, with the SXSW Sydney's footprint operating as a huge hub. Venues named so far include Powerhouse Museum, ICC Sydney, UTS, Central Park Mall, the Goods Line Walk, The Abercrombie and Lansdowne Hotel.

SXSW Sydney runs from Sunday, October 15–Sunday, October 22 at various Sydney venues — head to the festival's website for tickets and further details.

Top image: Keeley Parenteau.


If you're keen to make the most of Australia's first SXSW, take advantage of our special reader offer. Purchase your SXSW Sydney 2023 Official Badge via Concrete Playground Trips and you'll score a $150 credit to use on your choice of Sydney accommodation. Book now via the website.

Published on September 11, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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