South By Southwest (aka SXSW) has unveiled sessions it’ll be running with global thought leaders, covering topics like AI, robotics, the future of work, tackling climate change, new approaches to creativity and the future of marketing.
“We’ve received an unbelievable number of incredible sessions – shortlisting them down to 300 for the conference is proving tough – but what a great problem to have. The sessions presented today are just a taste of some of the incredible conversations at SXSW Sydney that will shape our future,” Colin Daniels, SXSW Sydney Managing Director.
Since its launch in 1987, South By Southwest (aka SXSW) has become one of the most popular festivals in the United States, taking place every March in Austin, Texas. This year, it will be on as usual in Texas, but, for the first time ever, will add a second festival to the line-up, an event in Sydney.
SXSW Sydney will run Sunday, October 15 to Sunday, October 22, with over 1,000 events across the city, from film screenings to talks, activations and parties. Basically? It’s going to be a capital-B Big Deal.
— SXSW Sydney (@sxswsydney) June 29, 2022
Colin Daniels, the managing Director of SXSW Sydney, said in a statement to the Sydney Morning Herald back when the festival was announced back in June 2022 that the spin-off will make Sydney the place to be, to catch international thinkers, creators, innovators and performers.
“Focusing on the creator industries in the Asia Pacific region, SXSW Sydney will celebrate what’s next in culture, tech and the regions thriving creative economy,” Daniels said.
Event producer for SXSW Sydney Geoff Jones added that “SXSW is the Olympics of events for the creator industries”.
In February 2023, the festival shared more details about its Sydney line-up, with Geoff Jones, Chair of SXSW Sydney calling the festival a “complete game-changer”.
“Locally, it will increase visitation and bolster the creative economy,” he said. “Within APAC, it will facilitate a special connection between creative industries and businesses in the region – the kind that can lead to collaboration and innovation on a global scale. I can’t wait to see the opportunities flow on from October this year.”
Ahead, everything we know about the festival so far.
What Is South By Southwest (SXSW)?
South by Southwest celebrates the convergence of tech, film, music, education and culture. Founded in Austin, Texas in 1987, it’s become the global destination for creative people to connect, collaborate and achieve their goals. 2023 will be the first year it’s left North America to make its Sydney debut.
How Many People Attend SXSW?
While there’s no word yet on how many are anticipated to attend SXSW Sydney, SXSW in Austin in March 2023 saw roughly 42,500 attendees, and 3,500 conference speakers across 1,400 conference sessions. A whopping 26 countries were represented at the expo.
When Is SXSW Sydney?
The inaugural SXSW Sydney will be held on Sunday, October 15 to 22, 2023.
Who Will Be at SXSW Sydney?
In February 2023, SXSW Sydney announced that a core part of the event is the SXSW Sydney Conference, which will take place at venues including ICC Sydney, UTS, and The Powerhouse Museum. The Conference will feature over 400 keynotes, presentations, panels, workshops and mentor sessions with inspiring thinkers and leaders.
It also shared that serial entrepreneur and CEO of Colossal, Ben Lamm, would be speaking, as well as Guy Kawasaki, Director of Content at Netflix and Saudi women’s rights activist Manal al-Sharif, among others.
SXSW Sydney Music Festival will include performances by London-based quartet LOS BITCHOS, American rapper-producer redvel and Canadian new-wave solo artist EKKSTACY.
The festival will also include a SXSW Sydney Screen Festival and SXSW Sydney Games Festival in the line-up.
What Are Some of the Talks at SXSW Sydney?
Some of the Session Select content, announced Friday, May 12, include:
It’s 2050 and The Robots are Among Us
The world robot population is already in the billions: where will it be in 2050? Distinguished Professor Fang Chen, an internationally-recognised leader in AI and data science, will be joined by Ed Santow (Co-Founder, Human Technology Institute) and other to demonstrate robots in action, tackle the ethics behind robots, the impacts of ChatGPT and how to make robots and AI more culturally diverse to reflect our population.
Finding work life balance: Can we achieve the ultimate goal?
Ben Crowe has been changing people’s mindsets for 30 years. Here he will take you on an inspiring and unexpected journey to discover the magical and counterintuitive principles behind some of the world’s most successful athletes, CEOs, teams and executive teams, how they balance work and life, and ultimately achieve success.
Rage with The Machine: Harnessing AI creativity in Music and Songwriting
Sonic Technologist Justin Shave and Uncanny Valley cofounder Charlton Hill discuss their pioneering foray into the use of AI and machine learning in the songwriting and music production process. Join their fantastic conversation that dissects the latest breakthroughs in the use of digital tools around the world and assess what’s in store in the not-too-distant future.
How Do I Get Tickets to SXSW Sydney?
A SXSW Sydney 2023 badge provides access to the week-long conference, expo, festivals and networking sessions, with each badge type granting varying levels of access. Registration is now open.