'The largest event since the Olympics': SXSW goes Down Under with Sydney offshoot

'The largest event since the Olympics': SXSW goes Down Under with Sydney offshoot

For the first time in its 36-year history, the famed SXSW (South by South West) tech, film, music and arts festival will be held outside of the US, with Sydney to host the event in October 2023.

Anticipated to be “the largest-scale event since the Sydney 2000 Olympics” by Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) CEO Anabelle Herd, the week-long celebration of creativity and technology will bring some of the world’s most inspired thinkers and makers to the New South Wales capital.

Normally held in Austin, Texas, SXSW Sydney will build on the festival’s reputation as a “must-attend” event for professionals and creators seeking to shape and discover future trends and emerging technologies.

Back in the US, the event is known for its ability to platform emerging creatives to industry professionals, and has long been a pilgrimage for Australian artists looking to break into the highly competitive North American market.

“We couldn’t be more excited and honoured 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,” SXSW CEO and co-founder Roland Swenson said.

"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.”

 

 

TEG CEO Geoff Jones, the event producer for SXSW Sydney, said the event is without equal internationally and has helped launch the careers of many creative professionals.

“Through showcasing the creator industries of the Asia Pacific to the world, SXSW Sydney will establish a new SXSW touchpoint, enabling the international and cross-sector connections that deliver the most innovative products and content,” Jones said.

To be held between 15 and 22 October 2023, SXSW Sydney will be the second location of the festival’s annual series of events.

The significance of the news was not underplayed by ARIA CEO Herd, who said it presented a real opportunity for Australia to lead the global discussion in future trends, innovation and the value of the creative economy.

“The intertwined role of music in all of these pursuits is constantly evolving, and I cannot imagine a better forum to explore the truly significant cultural and economic impact music will have over the coming decades,” Herd said.

“This is a genuine game-changer for Sydney’s cultural outlook, but it is also an exceptional moment for the Asia Pacific region, which has long deserved a conference of this scale to acknowledge its increasingly undeniable impact on global trends and innovation.

“All of that aside, it’s also going to be very, very fun.”

According to Destination NSW CEO Steve Cox, the event will boast more than 1,000 experiences for attendees, including keynote speakers, panels, summits, live gaming sessions, product demonstrations, artist performances and opportunities to network.

“It doesn’t get any bigger than this for the music, screen, gaming and tech world,” Cox said in a LinkedIn post.

“SXSW Sydney will deliver a major boost to the NSW visitor economy and further cement the Harbour City's reputation as the creative industries hub and events capital of the Asia Pacific.”

Industry professionals, talent, partners and more can register their interest now at sxswsydney.com.

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