And that’s a wrap on SXSW Online 2021! We hope you enjoyed traveling around the world in five days, as we were truly honored to bring you SXSW wherever you are. It was a virtual adventure packed with sessions, film screenings, music showcases, exhibitors, networking, XR, awards, and beyond. Journey with us through some event highlights as we get ready for what’s next for SXSW.
The Conference hosted conversations with diverse visionaries across multiple industries including over 230 sessions sourced from the SX community. Each day, registrants experienced powerful and inspiring Keynote conversations from bestselling author and political leader Stacey Abrams; U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg; acclaimed author and Together Apart podcast host Priya Parker; bestselling author Charles Yu; and legendary musician Willie Nelson.
Featured Sessions brought together leading figures in society and industry for mind-expanding talks including astronauts Kate Rubins and Victor Glover from NASA’s International Space Station; Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins; co-hosts of the talk-show Desus & Mero and Bodega Boys podcast, Desus Nice and the Kid Mero; ocean activist Alexandra Cousteau; Emmy Award-winning host of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Samantha Bee with Amber Ruffin, writer and executive producer of The Amber Ruffin Show; Lieutenant Colonel Alexander S. Vindman with CEO of Pryon Igor Jablokov; quantitative futurist Amy Webb and many, many more.
The Film Festival rolled out the digital red carpet with their acclaimed 2021 program including the Opening Night Headliner Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil; Centerpiece film Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free, and Closing Night film Alone Together. SXSW Online audiences were able to delve into a diverse program of high-caliber films across 75 features, 53 films from first-time filmmakers, 84 Short Films, 20 Virtual Cinema projects, and 30 Special Events. Honoring the superlative creativity and talent demonstrated by filmmakers and designers in the SXSW Film Festival program, the 2021 SXSW Film Awards celebrated the winners of the Jury and Special Awards. Plus, explore the Audience Awards winners.
Flipping the tape over to the Music Festival, we took a journey around the globe into the artists’ home countries and truly unique settings for one-of-a-kind performances from a Norwegian cable car and Abbey Road Studios to a Brazilian greenhouse cafe and a Taoist temple. Showcasing Artists jammed throughout curated showcases from presenters like Northern Expo, Hotel Vegas, Damnably, Marca Única, Taiwan Beats, Sounds Australia, and the beat goes on. Keep the music playing by turning up our official Showcasing Artists playlists.
The Creative Industries Exhibition featured a diverse range of forward-thinking exhibitors from promising startups to established industry leaders with a multitude of professional development and networking opportunities for attendees. Then taking one step further into the digital event experience, SXSW Online XR presented fantastical virtual versions of iconic Austin locations and a wide array of XR programming including live panels, special events, a virtual tour of the Film Poster Gallery, and Virtual Cinema projects. Be sure to share your red carpet pics from the virtual Paramount Theatre using #sxsw.
Each year, SXSW Awards ceremonies celebrate and honor the individuals and companies who do the most innovative, creative, and inspirational work in their respective fields. The SXSW Community Service Awards honored five incredible organizations who have dedicated their missions to their communities. During two-days on virtual pitches, audiences discovered what’s next in the worlds of tech startups and celebrated the winners of the SXSW Pitch Awards. In the world of gaming, the talents behind titles that influenced and advanced the culture of gaming in 2020 were announced at the Gaming Awards
We also got laughs in during SXSW Comedy showcases from iconic venues around the country including the Acme Comedy Co. (Minneapolis), Dynasty Typewriter (Los Angeles), Gotham Comedy Club (New York City), and Laughing Skull Lounge (Atlanta), to name a few.
This year we also felt it was important to bring attention to local causes near and dear to the SXSW family via our SXSW Merch. The Collaborations for a Cause merch collection donates a portion of proceeds to select local charities. Our goal is to shed a light on Austin’s changing landscape and to give back to some communities that have given so much to us over the years. Check out this collection and all our 2021 merch to bring a piece of SXSW and Austin home to wherever you are.
It was a brave new online world and we want to give a big Texas THANKS to all of the attendees, participants, SXSW Staff, creatives, industry leaders, storytellers, visionaries, partners, and everyone who came together ready to reimagine the future from scratch during the 2021 SXSW Online event!
Check out the on demand content list to catch a session you missed or rewatch an event you loved through April 18 on the SXSW Online platform and Connected TV apps. Stay tuned for full 2021 videos from Conference sessions and other events in the coming weeks.
Here’s Looking at You, SXSW 2022
Now for what’s next! We at SXSW are hopeful that once people feel it’s safe enough to return to what will be the new normal of life, there will be a real enthusiasm for getting back to the things that brought them joy or opportunity or just the simple need to be out amongst humanity. We can’t wait to bring people together once again to meet and share ideas. Austin Public Health’s Interim Authority Dr. Mark Escott recently said, “I’m very confident that SXSW will look normal, or near-normal next year.” We, too, share his optimism that we will be able to hold an in-person event in 2022.
So it is with great excitement we announce the dates for SXSW 2022 from March 11-20 in Austin, TX. Registration opens August 3, 2021 – learn more.
SXSW 2022 applications open on June 29 beginning with PanelPicker®, Music Festival applications, and more.
For the latest SX updates, be sure to check out the SXSW News feed; subscribe to SXSW Event Updates; and follow us across the socialverse – Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. Keep the conversations going with #sxsw.
Until next year, cheers from your pals at SXSW!
2022 SXSW Dates on Paramount Marquee – Photo By Ann Alva Wieding