Before they make it big in the arts, tech, music or gaming, chances are your creative favourites appeared at SXSW first. For it's first year outside Austin, Texas the futurist festival has its sights set on Sydney to host more than 400 events that will showcase the wealth of talent in the Asia Pacific region. This morning, SXSW organisers unveiled its initial lineup, announcing a handful of keynote speakers, musicians and thought leaders set to headline the festival. Find everything we know, below.
When is SXSW Sydney?
SXSW will continue in its original format in Austin, Texas across a single week in March (10-19 March) this year. However, the Sydney iteration of SXSW serves as an extension of the festival, marking the first time it has left the US. What's more, is that not only will SXSW Sydney take place over a week during October 15-22, but the festival will continue to be held in Sydney for the next five years.
Where will SXSW Sydney take place?
Although SXSW will occur in a different city, the idea is to stay as true to the original festival as possible. Part of this is about ensuring a walkable, accessible circuit between all festival locations. As such, SXSW Sydney will take place across an interconnected hub in suburbs like Haymarket, Darling Harbour, Ultimo and Chippendale, with the Powerhouse, UTS and ICC Sydney primed as key venues.
Who is onboard as a festival speaker?
So far we know author and American futurist, Amy Webb, will give a keynote address at the festival. Meanwhile, some of the featured speakers include Ben Lamm, chief evangelist of Canva and former Apple chief evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, Jack Reis, head of Screen NSW Kyas Hepworth, the inimitable Larissa Behrendt, and Manal al-Sharif who's perspective on the intersection between human rights and technology is invaluable.
SXSW Sydney Music Festival
The first international acts have been announced also, with Connie Constance, Ekkstacy, Los Bitchos, Redveil and Otoboke Beaver slated to perform at the famed Sydney's iteration of the SXSW Music Festival. More to come here as we near October.
How does the ticketing system work?
Tickets to SXSW Sydney are known as Badges and they're on sale now, with early bird pricing on offer which will give you 30% off the standard price. A Platinum Badge is currently priced at $1295 with the early bird offer and is suited to those who wish to take advantage of everything the festival has to offer. It will will get you unlimited prioritised access to everything throughout the week, including the Music Festival, Gaming Festival, Screen Festival, Conference Keynotes and all the workshops, mentor sessions, screenings in between.
Then there are the industry specific badges – Tech & Innovation, Screen, Music, Gaming – which will grant you access to every event pertaining to your chosen area of interest. At the current early bird rate, these are all priced at $896.
Other elements of SXSW Sydney
Those familiar with SXSW will be acquainted with its iconic Music and Screen Festival. Given we're in the initial stages of announcements, there are not a lot of details here. But watch this space.