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SXSW Sydney

SXSW is coming to Sydney with over 700 speakers, 300 performances, 170 game demos, 200 screenings, a tech and innovation expol and a free program of events in Tumbalong Park.
By Ben Hansen
September 27, 2023
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By Ben Hansen
September 27, 2023
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SXSW is taking over Sydney between Sunday, October 15–Sunday, October 22. It's the first time that world-renowned music, film, tech and gaming conference has left the US — and it has a jam-packed eight-day program in store.

The full program has landed, and it includes over 700 speakers, 300 performances, 170 game demos, 200 screenings, a tech and innovation expo, and a free program of events in Tumbalong Park.

But what exactly is SXSW and how does it run? Basically, the festival will take over Ultimo, Darling Harbour, Chippendale and Surry Hills for a huge party and festival of ideas. There will be dance parties, thought-provoking panels, surprise sets, pop-up bars and international film premieres.

The music festival will bring performances from local and international acts to venues such as The Abercrombie, The Lansdowne, Hollywood Hotel and Phoenix Central Park. The lineup is huge, but just some of the acts that a ticket to the music festival will grant you access to include Otoboke Beaver, Flyana Boss, These New South Whales, Caitlin Harnett & the Pony Boys, Barkaa, Kobie Dee, 1bsp, Shady Nasty and Cool Sounds.

Plus, SXSW Sydney has partnered with the festival Someday Soon, giving festivalgoers access to its stacked lineup featuring Peach PRC, What So Not, Northeast Party House, Royal Otis and Sly Withers.

Brittany Hallberg

The SXSW Sydney Screen Festival will be taking over a bunch of cinemas and theatres in the precinct, featuring highlights like outback thriller The Royal Hotel on opening night, Charlie Brooker talking Black Mirror, Jacob Elordi's new film and a TLC doco.

Plus, there's a gaming expo featuring the gaming equivalent of the Olympics — and a conference with speakers like Chance The Rapper, the CEO of CoachellaOsher Günsberg and Layne Beachley.

On top of all of that, there will be activations around the precinct from the likes of Laneway, Vans, the British Music Embassy and Suntory -196.

Unlike other citywide festivals, you can't just buy single-session tickets. You need to buy a festival badge or wristband. For those who really want to dive in, the Platinum Badge grants you access to everything that's on offer throughout the eight days. Or, if you just want to head along to the music, film or games festivals, each category has its own wristbands which start from $165.

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.

Keeley Parenteau

Top image: The Abercrombie, Maria Boyadgis.

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