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SXSW’s Sydney Festival Will Make Vivid Look Like a Busted Light Bulb

In case you hadn’t heard, South by Southwest (SXSW), the world’s premier futurist conference and festival, will this year be leaving Austin, Texas – the city it’s called home for the last 36 years – and setting up shop in Man of Many’s own backyard of Sydney. Now the organisers have announced some details, giving us a better idea of just what the massive festival’s Sydney edition will have in store when it brings together the cream of the crop across tech, innovation, gaming, music, film and culture from October 15-22, 2023.

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Image: SXSW

According to the announcements, SXSW’s first foray below the equator will see events spread over some of Sydney’s most walkable corners, including Haymarket, Darling Harbour, Ultimo, Chippendale and more. Within that footprint, the festival will utilise venues like ICC Sydney, UTS, The Powerhouse Museum and more to host over 400 keynotes, presentations, panels, workshops and mentor sessions with “inspiring thinkers and leaders”.

Organisers promise all of this will transform the city into “a vibrant, interconnected hub of event formats including festivals, performances, premieres, exhibitions, meet-ups, speakers, pitches and networking opportunities, with ideas and surprises to uncover on every street corner.” Sounds fun.

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Image: SXSW

What Does SXSW Sydney Have in Store?

But what exactly will SXSW offer to draw in potential punters? Well, there’s a trio of entertainment festivals covering music, film, and gaming that’s sure to entice. To start with, the SXSW Sydney 2023 Music Festival has already secured a number of international acts, including Connie Cconstance (UK), Ekkstacy (Canada), Los Bitchos (UK), Otoboke Beaver (Japan), and Redveil (USA) with more to be announced.

This will be complemented by the SXSW Sydney Screen Festival, which promises to be a “future-focused program of film, episodic content, digital, XR and social content premieres, showcasing screen-culture’s diversity in the Asia-Pacific and beyond.” If you’re a film buff there’ll be plenty to keep you occupied, including red carpet premieres, immersive screen experiences, Q&As and panel discussions with creators and industry professionals.

Finally, with the gaming industry now thoroughly dwarfing those of music and film, the newly announced SXSW Sydney Gaming Festival will likely be a must-see as it promises to “celebrate the future of the industry and embrace the power and potential of games” via product launches, hands-on play, stage sessions, performances, screenings, unique exhibitions and social events.

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Image: SXSW

As is the expansive nature of SXSW, the event will also feature a range of technology and innovation exhibitions designed to showcase the Asia-Pacific’s most innovative and emerging tech and entertainment companies. Plus – in what will likely be the largest drawcard for many SXSW attendees – the festival will feature a number of keynote speakers. The first to be announced is futurist, author, and founder and CEO of the Future Today Institute, Amy Webb. Last year, Forbes named her ‘one of the five women changing the world’, so she’s bound to provide some fascinating insights into where the world is headed.

If you’d like to head along to SXSW Sydney  when it lands in October you’ll need to get yourself a badge. These come in a range of varieties, each of which provides a particular level of access to events across the festival. Be warned though, they don’t come cheap, starting from AUD$895. Platinum and Industry badges are currently available for early bird purchase and can be accessed via the link below.

Check it out

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Image: SXSW


Rob Edwards

Rob Edwards is Man of Many’s Branded Content Writer. As a former editor of consumer technology and lifestyle publications like T3, Official Nintendo Magazine, Official Windows Magazine, and TechRadar, Rob has honed his expertise in consumer technology and lifestyle products over many years. Rob also has a wealth of experience in collaborating with brands to create high-quality branded content. Through his role as Senior Editor & Technical Specialist at one of the world's most prestigious PR firms, Edelman, Rob worked closely with leading brands like Samsung, Amazon, Google, and more. Now he brings his unique skill set to create both engaging editorial and superior branded content for Man of Many's discerning audience.