So some observations.
There are four streams – Tech & Innovation, Games, Music and Screen.
From the point of view of an event industry veteran what would these streams offer me?
The Tech & Innovation stream promises “Discover and explore the ground-breaking technologies and ideas that are changing the way we live our lives at SXSW Sydney. Throw yourself into a wide variety of programming, including keynotes, panels, presentations, showcases, the Expo, Startup Pitch competition, and so much more. See the future come to life at SXSW Sydney.”
Well that’s fine I have a lot of interest in tech and innovation but I’m no developer. So not for me.
Games – “The SXSW Sydney Games Festival will showcase the incredible potential and embrace the future of one of the world’s most exciting industries, getting you up close and personal with the creators and leaders that are driving it forward. SXSW Sydney will give you an unparalleled opportunity to connect and collaborate across the industry through our broad range of programming across the week – from product launches, live playthroughs, tournaments, and more.”
While on the road with rock bands I spent plenty of time in pups playing pinball machines, Space invaders, Galaxians, etc. But I have no interest in modern gaming.
Music – great, I’m a huge music fan so there will be something here right? All I’ve heard about the music presentations is that it will feature a lot of hip-hop and “emerging artists”. Go to the SXSWSydney website and the featured speakers are listed as Chris Lee, Chief A&R officer and former CEO of SM Entertainment; Paul Tollet, CEO and Founder, Coachella; and Amy Webb, CEO of Future Today Institute. But there is no link to their bio or what they might be speaking about – so one has to know who they are or find out somewhere else.
Screen – “The SXSW Sydney 2023 Screen Festival will bring together the creators and leaders that are breaking new ground in the screen industry. Through showcases, exclusive screenings premieres, launches, networking sessions, and more, SXSW Sydney will dive into every aspect of this rapidly changing creative space, and look ahead to the challenges and opportunities that the future holds.”
Apart from that all I’ve heard about is Baz Luhrmann launching Faraway Downs as a six part rehash of his movie Australia.
I did find an excellent article by Katie Cunningham in The Guardian and here are some quotes lifted from that article.
Running 15 to 22 October, the festival is being billed as “the official annual Asia-Pacific instalment of SXSW”. It’s a big win for a city that has faced its share of nightlife challenges in the past decade, especially given the prestige of the brand: the Austin festival is renowned as a breaking ground for new musicians, and a hub for film, tech and TV premieres, and has welcomed high-profile speakers from Prince to the Obamas across its three decades.
The main event at SXSW is the daytime conference, which in Sydney will be held at the ICC, UTS and Powerhouse Museum from Monday to Sunday. More than 700 speakers will discuss topics including artificial intelligence, environmentalism and the future of tech, at events which also include workshops and official mentoring sessions. Other international speakers include the futurist Amy Webb, the Coachella chief executive, Paul Tollett, and the Slack co-founder Cal Henderson, with a local lineup led by Adam Goodes and Grace Tame.
But to get into the conference you’ll need a “badge”: SXSW’s most expensive ticket offering. Premium badges are now priced at $1,895 and get you into everything; there are also industry-specific badges (to the tech, music, gaming and screen streams) for sale at a $1,295 final release price. Forrest says he expects that typical badge holders are people in their 20s and 30s working in creative industries who, presumably, have their employer footing the bill.
Those looking to attend for pleasure are more likely to hit the roster of evening and weekend events – music gigs, movie screenings and gaming activations. Single-event tickets will be available closer to the event, though organisers haven’t locked in an on-sale date yet.
There are also a number of free events being held at Tumbalong Park throughout the week, including live music most nights and screenings of cult classic films that premiered at SXSW Austin over the past 35 years. But Heath says it’s also worth keeping an eye on unofficial events that are staged around the city over the next couple of weeks – from gigs to parties and screenings.
Larry Heath is associate producer at the music industry body Sounds Australia and has been to the Austin event 12 times.
“I always tell people that are going without a badge to SXSW Austin, just wander the streets, see what’s happening. There’s always good stuff.”
Well that’s the advice this old fart is taking.
Check out the full article here – SXSW Sydney explained: how will the Austin festival work in Australia – and who is it for?