SXSW Hackathon

The SXSW Hackathon (formerly the SXSW Music Hackathon) is 24 straight hours of buzzing, high-tech creativity as music, VR/AR, and film hacker/creators use their programming knowledge and our collection of music, visual APIs, and coding assets to develop their industry-changing prototypes and compete for cash prizes, awarded by our panel of celebrity judges.

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SXSW Hackathon

2017 SXSW Hackathon – Photo by Randy and Jackie Smith

About SXSW Hackathon


SXSW invites hackers, creators, makers, and coders to converge to solve problems, create new tools, and push the boundaries of existing tech across entertainment media from Tuesday, March 13 through Wednesday, March 14. Over the course of 24 hours during SXSW, hackers collaborate and compete in three media categories that span the rich universe of SXSW: Music, Film, and VR/AR.

Applications are now open for the 2018 SXSW Hackathon – spots are limited.

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Questions our hackers can/will address within or across each category:

Commerce & Industry

How is money getting to artists, creators, and rights-holders and can emerging technology like blockchain or micro-licensing help facilitate and manage the process? How can creatives connect with the right industry players to mutually further careers?

Creation and Performance

How can musicians, filmmakers, or VR/AR designers use tech to create, perform, and display in new ways? What tools can we create to make the process easier, more inventive, more compelling?


With the fragmentation of distribution systems, physical media, and streaming options, how do I get my work out to the public and in front of my ideal audience?


How can we improve the fan, customer, listener, viewer or user experience?


How can creators collaborate more easily and more creatively across audio, visual, and immersive fields?

Participating hackers get to show off their skills, play with the coolest APIs and SDKs from each category, work with our Artist/Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, and present to high-profile industry celeb judges in one crazy, marathon 24-hour coding experience. A variety of programming/hacking expertise is welcome to join, and you can apply solo, as part of an existing team, or be partnered up with other hackers during the event!

The winning teams will be awarded cash prizes and the opportunity to join the three-day SXSW Hackathon Incubator, working with a group of industry mentors to fine tune their projects March 15-17.

Previous Hackathon Judges and Mentors include: Werner Vogels (Amazon CTO), Alex Ebert (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), Ty Roberts (Co-Founder of Gracenote), Robert Scoble (Transformation Group VR), Kiran Gandhi (MIA, Madame Gandhi), Ann Greenberg (Sceneplay, Gracenote), Andrew Jones (Android Jones, Microdose VR), David Dufresne (500 Startups Canada), Benji Rogers (Dot Blockchain, Pledge Music), Josh Constine (Techcrunch), and many more.

Interested in sponsorships/API involvement? Fill out the contact form to reach a representative.

Produced in coordination with Travis Laurendine of CODEMKRS and Outlier Group.

Hackathon Application


2017 Hackathon recap

What happens when you bring programmers and creatives together? Catch up with the two winning teams from the 2017 SXSW Hackathon.

The winning teams of the SXSW Hackathon in 2017

2017 SXSW Hackathon winners - Photo by Randy and Jackie Smith

More SXSW Music

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