SXSW has a strict weapons-free policy.
SXSW is a private event and attending Participants are not permitted to carry weapons of any kind, including concealed or displayed firearms, onto the premises of any official SXSW event. SXSW reserves the right to require Participants who violate this policy to immediately leave the premises of any official SXSW event, and to deactivate and/or revoke the Credentials of such Participants. Each Participant agrees that this policy is in force, and agrees to comply with this policy, regardless of whether signs prohibiting weapons are posted at the premises of any official SXSW event.
Texas’s open carry law received a lot of media attention when it went into effect in January 2016, but SXSW observed little or no change from previous years. Our city, county, and state law enforcement agencies have been diligent about ensuring public safety while implementing the law, and SXSW will continue to work with these agencies to minimize its impact on our event.
To put the Texas open carry law in perspective, Texas was the 45th state to pass some form of open carry legislation. SXSW believes that open carry laws are poor public policy. However, we believe that the existing law will not change the fact that Austin has one of the lowest violent crime rates of any city in the United States. Many Austin businesses and hotels continue to exercise their right to opt out of allowing open carry in their establishments, and are publicly letting their customers know about it through official signage and social media.
For more information on open carry in Austin please visit the City of Austin’s website.