Welcome to SXSW Online 2021: Sessions, Film Screenings, Music Showcases & More

Greetings creatives, industry leaders, storytellers, visionaries, and anyone ready to reimagine the future from scratch. Welcome to SXSW Online!

From March 16-20, discover the ideas that will renew your hope in tomorrow, reignite your curiosity, and reinvent what’s possible. This is the time for re-do's all around to incite positive change. With the SXSW Online Pass, access Conference sessions and Keynotes, Music Festival showcases, Film Festival screenings*, the Creative Industries Exhibition, networking opportunities, professional development, and the unexpected discoveries that are always a part of SXSW, all in a digital setting.

SXSW Online takes place across several platforms – web, mobile, and premium viewing from your TV – for a dynamic viewing experience. Explore the Attendee Services Hub for a suite of registrant tools including how to link your pass, watch events across five Channels, build your schedule, and more. Conference content and select Music Festival showcases and Film Festival special events will be available to registrants through April 18 on the SXSW Online Platform and Connected TV apps.

Dive into programming highlights below for a sampling of the Conference and Festivals programming coming to you this week for SXSW Online 2021.

2021 Programming Announcements

The SXSW Conference presents conversations with diverse visionaries across multiple industries from Keynotes and Featured Sessions to over 230 sessions sourced from the SX community and curated by SX staff. Sessions are organized by this season's seven themes, specifically focused on our unique moment in history and a glimpse into what the future could look like.

The event kicks off on Tuesday, March 16 at 10am CT with Opening Remarks from international yoga teacher, actress, writer and entrepreneur, Adriene Mishler.

Keynotes include entrepreneur, political leader, and bestselling author Stacey Abrams in conversation with author N.K. Jemisin; U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg; master facilitator, author, executive producer and host of The New York Times podcast Together Apart Priya Parker in conversation with Anand Giridharadas; writer and author Charles Yu; and legendary musician, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Willie Nelson in conversation with Texas Monthly writer-at-large and host of the magazine’s National Podcast of Texas Andy Langer. Keynotes will be streamed live each day of the event at 1pm CT on Channel 1 on the SXSW Online Platform.

Featured Speakers include Emmy Award-winning host Samantha Bee; Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson; 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush; world-renowned filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer at Large James Cameron; The Daily Show News Team; three-Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn; filmmaker and founder of narrative change collective ARRAY Ava DuVernay; founding member of Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood; Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins; U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar; New York Times bestselling author Michael Lewis; DEVO cofounder Mark Mothersbaugh; cannabis regulator Cat Packer; Olympic athlete Alexi Pappas; visionary directors/producers Anthony and Joe Russo; world-class tennis champion Maria Sharapova; Emmy-nominated host and writer Baratunde Thurston; Director of Jet Propulsion Lab at NASA Dr. Michael Watkins; quantitative futurist Amy Webb; Reddit’s COO Jen Wong; and more.

All Conference Featured Sessions will stream daily across Channels 1–4 on the SXSW Online Platform. Sessions will also be available on demand the day they air. Learn more about how to watch Conference sessions and more on the Attendee Services Hub.

Rolling out the red carpet for the Film Festival, the full lineup has been announced along with the Opening Night Headliner Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil; Centerpiece film Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free, and Closing Night film Alone Together. Experience 75 features, 53 films from first-time filmmakers, 84 Short Films, 20 Virtual Cinema projects, 30 Special Events and more. From March 16–18, the Film Festival will premiere new work every two hours from 10am to 8pm CT. Learn more about How to Watch Films including global and U.S. access, capacity limits, and advance RSVP. Don't miss the chance to journey into fantastical virtual versions of iconic Austin locations, live panels, Virtual Cinema, and more at SXSW Online XR.

Flipping the tape over to the Music Festival side of the event, get ready for a one-of-a-kind performances, presented directly from the artists’ home countries and unique settings like a Norwegian cable car, Abbey Road Studios, a Brazilian greenhouse cafe, and a Taoist temple. Explore the full lineup of announced Showcasing Artists including curated showcases from presenters like British Music Embassy, BrooklynVegan, Ireland Music Week, La Buena Fortuna, Nine Mile Records and Touring, Sounds Australia, Tokyo Sessions, and many more. Tune into our Discovery Playlists to get to know this season's artists. Music Festival Showcases take place March 16-20 between the hours of 2:30pm and 10pm CT. Learn more about how to watch showcases, join live discussions, and experience select performances in VR on the Attendee Services Hub.

Get your laughs in during SXSW Comedy featuring special events as well as showcases from iconic venues including the Acme Comedy Co. (Minneapolis), Dynasty Typewriter (Los Angeles), Gotham Comedy Club (New York City), Hollywood Improv, Laughing Skull Lounge (Atlanta), The Stand NYC, and Zanies Comedy Club (Chicago).

Venture into the Creative Industries Exhibition, featuring a diverse range of forward-thinking exhibitors from promising startups to established industry leaders. Meet top creative organizations, schedule meetings, build your swag wishlist, and more.

Discover what's next in the worlds of tech startups during SXSW Pitch which will feature 40 interactive technology companies in a virtual pitch competition from March 17-18. Winners will be announced on March 20 at 3pm CT during the SXSW Pitch Awards Ceremony. Switch gears and head into the world of gaming with the Gaming Awards on March 20 at 7pm CT.

SX wouldn't be SX without networking. Up your professional development game or find your next creative collaborator with various networking opportunities and Discussion Channels. Mentor Sessions, Film Round Tables, Professional Development sessions, and Film screenings require advanced RSVP – learn more.

Y'all, this is just a smattering of the programming in store from March 16-20 during SXSW Online 2021! Secure your pass today and dive into the complete schedule.

Be sure to check out the Attendee Services Hub – your guide to SXSW Online 2021 with a suite of navigation tools and resources to help you on your digital adventure.

SXSW Online Platform

$149 SXSW Online Passes Nearly Sold Out

Get Your SX Swag

Up your remote work wardrobe and send a piece of SXSW and Austin, TX home to wherever you are with SXSW Merch! Explore our online shop at merch.sxsw.com including official SXSW and SXSW EDU hats, tees, hoodies, koozies, fanny packs, Collaborations for a Cause collection, exclusive merch bundles, notebooks, accessories, and more limited edition items.

SXSW Merch

Join Us March 16-20

There's still time to join us! The SXSW Online Pass is your key to all things SX — opening up the breadth and depth of our groundbreaking programming and opportunity to connect with attendees, speakers, and exhibitors across multiple industries. Register today to join us for this exclusive digital experience from March 16-20.

Follow us across the socialverse for programming highlights – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Join in the conversation using #sxsw.


*All content subject to change. Certain film content may be geo-blocked due to rights and the distributor’s discretion.
*Some content will be subject to capacity.

Photo by Aaron Rogosin

By Jordan Roberts