It’s a music festival! It’s a film festival! It’s a tech conference! It’s a comedy festival! No, it’s South by Southwest. Or, South By, for short. SXSW is a mega-event that packs all four aforementioned festivals, each huge in their own right, into one week, in one city, under one name. It’s become the tastemaker of tomorrow, the preeminent gathering of all things cultural and cutting edge. Lena Dunham was discovered here, as was Fred Armisen. Everything Everywhere All at Once premiered here. So did Bridesmaids, 21 Jump Street and The Hand’s Maid Tale. Twitter gained some of its earliest attention here, and Mark Zuckerberg’s cold interview responses made headlines here. In short, anyone who’s anyone (or who wants to be someone) in tech, music, and media comes here to network and, to use the tech parlance, move fast and break things. Panels on current and future issues, artist speakers, and movie cast Q&A’s number in the hundreds. And the music lineup rivals that of any festival. Dolly Parton, Beck and Shawn Mendes were a few of 2022’s standouts. Kendrick Lamar has played SXSW three times. Lizzo, four. Put all of this in the renowned party city of Austin, and it’s one hell of a week. NOTE: 2023 lineup not yet released
- In 2022, 42,500 attended the conference, 205,500 attended the music festival virtually and in person, and 71,000 attended the film and comedy festival virtually and in person.
- Attendees can buy badges for either the music, film or interactive portions of SXSW, or a platinum ticket that grants them access to the entire festival. The Music Badge starts at $595. The Film & TV Badge starts at $895. The Interactive Badge starts at $995. And, the Platinum Badge starts at $1,295.
- Here are the festival’s apps to help guide you through the weekend.