South by South West (SXSW) – the legendary festival and conference that spans music, screen, gaming, technology and innovation – is coming to Sydney. The festival is held every year in Austin, Texas, and this marks the first time in its 35-year history that the festival has been held outside of North America. Sydney will become the annual host of the Asia-Pacific instalment of the festival, kicking off in October 2023.

From October 15-22, 2023, more than 1000 keynote talks, panels, live gaming sessions, screenings, performances, and parties will spread across Sydney. Speakers and performers will be announced in the coming months; the likes of Barack Obama, Kendrick Lamar, Jordan Peele, Dave Grohl, Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga and Prince have appeared at SXSW Austin over the years.

Festival organisers pitch the event as an opportunity for attendees to network, discover and shape future trends and access emerging technology.

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“SXSW Sydney will showcase the largest group of inspiring international thinkers, creators, innovators and performers ever seen in Sydney at one time,” said Colin Daniels, managing director of SXSW Sydney, in a statement. “Focusing on the creator industries in the Asia-Pacific region, SXSW Sydney will celebrate what’s next in culture, tech and the region’s thriving creative economy.”

SXSW had its beginnings as a music festival with 700 attendees in 1987, and has since expanded into film and other media. It’s played a role in kickstarting the careers of now-big names such as Hanson, James Blunt, Lena Dunham and Fred Armisen.

South by South West will run from October 15-22, 2023, in various venues across Sydney.