In Brief



Find out what’s happening with these noteworthy updates from the SXSW family of events.

This September 15-17, over 2700 creative professionals from around the world convened in Frankfurt, Germany for me Convention, a unique event collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and SXSW. The conference covered a range of topics including new leadership, the evolution of cities, and creative processes, not to mention technologies such as artificial intelligence, emotional tracking, genetic engineering, nuclear fusion, and augmented reality.

Over three days of inspiring talks, hands on workshops and a full program of evening events, attendees engaged in a critical exploration of what’s next in tech, design, business and art. Keynote speakers included Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg, hip-hop star A$AP Rocky, renowned art curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Art installations included Refik Anadol’s Infinity Room, which was a big hit at SXSW 2017. See the full event recap.

Outside the me Convention

me Convention Launches in Frankfurt – 1

Outside the me Convention
Outside the me Convention. Photo by Nass / Brauer Photos fuer Mercedes-Benz
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Keynote session with Buzz Aldrin

me Convention Launches in Frankfurt – 2

Keynote session with Buzz Aldrin
Keynote session with Buzz Aldrin. copyright Daimler AG
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Beth Ditto perfoming at

me Convention Launches in Frankfurt – 3

Beth Ditto perfoming at
Beth Ditto perfoming at "me Club" at Velvet. Photo by Christian Mader
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Expert Talk with Sheryl Sandberg and Dr. Dieter Zetsche

me Convention Launches in Frankfurt – 4

Expert Talk with Sheryl Sandberg and Dr. Dieter Zetsche
Expert Talk with Sheryl Sandberg and Dr. Dieter Zetsche. Photo by Nass / Brauer Photos fuer Mercedes-Benz
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Remembering Gord Downie

Book Readings at SXSW 2018

The always compelling SXSW Book Readings will be expanded for 2018 from the previous 25 minute sessions to a new, hour-long format. There will also be an additional room of Book Reading programming for 2018. Come listen to authors share their latest works and even get your copy signed!

Richard Garriott’s “Explore/Create” reading at SXSW 2017

Mentor Sessions Expanded For SXSW 2018

Mentor Sessions have been extended to 75 minutes. Now selected industry mentors will have the opportunity to meet with five interested people for 15 minute one-on-one sessions where they can lend their expertise and guidance. Mentor Sessions take place March 9-17.

Music industry mentor session at SXSW 2017

SXSW Participates in Austin Pride Parade

On September 30, approximately 50 SXSW staff, volunteers, and their family members marched in the Austin Pride Parade, a month after Hurricane Harvey forced the rescheduling of the original event. SXSW is proud to have many dedicated staff and volunteers, speakers, musicians, filmmakers, and registrants who identify as LGBTQ, and our goal in participating in the parade was to show support for the LGBTQ community in Austin.

The theme we chose was “love and inclusion” and with that in mind, created our float, t-shirt designs, and the giveaways that we shared with the people who came out to watch the parade. As we marched past the state capitol it drove home what an honor it was to be a part of this community and to have our voices heard.

Additionally SXSW staff and volunteers used the occasion to raise over $2,000 for Equality Texas, an Austin-area nonprofit that works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.

Pride Parade participants

SXSW Create

Scheduled for March 10-11, SXSW Create will fuse two events based on popular hands-on movements: a Hackathon and Makerfaire, while adding a third to highlight the Tiny House trend. As part of this event, we’ll be 3D printing a tiny house to address affordable housing issues and community living. Open-source hardware, software, robotics, automation, drone races, 3D modeling, advanced manufacturing, art installations and much, much more will all be part of this year’s SXSW Create.

Kids enjoying SXSW Create

New for 2018: The SXSW Wellness Expo

For the first time, SXSW is hosting an exhibition focused on fueling your mind, body, and soul. The SXSW Wellness Expo will offer SXSW attendees and Guest Pass holders the opportunity to check out the latest innovative products and services in this expanding industry.

Explore Topics at Length with Series of Sessions

Some subjects need a wide array of programming to examine and discuss their diverse issues and themes. Check out the series of sessions on these compelling topics during SXSW 2018:

LGBTQIA+ – The LGBTQIA+ series of sessions will examine issues such as community alliances, the gender spectrum, activism, visibility, and the movement towards equality. It will also highlight people who live openly. These sessions will take place March 9-10.

Faith – The faith-based series of sessions will highlight the intersection and impact of faith in culture, technology, and entertainment. Programming will explore inclusivity, diversity, and innovation within the realm of religion and spirituality. These sessions will take place on March 12-13 and are open to all badge-holders.

Blockchain – Scheduled for March 14-15, two days of sessions in the Startup & Tech Sectors Track will explore how blockchain technology has the potential to impact entertainment, finance, mobility, and a variety of industries in fundamental ways. Attend these panels and presentations to learn from top innovators in this exciting new space.

2017 SXSW Conference

Cardi B hits #1

With “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves),” 2017 SXSW Showcasing Artist Cardi B became the first female rapper to top the Billboard Hot 100 without any other credited artists on the track, since Lauryn Hill’s 1998 hit “Doo Wop (That Thing)”. This September triumph was followed by more success in early October, when she took home four honors at the BET Hip Hop Awards, including the Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip-Hop Style).

Cardi B at the Atlantic Records showcase during SXSW 2017

VR/AR Continues to Grow

The tech phenomenon on the tip of everyone’s tongue returns for SXSW 2018, with a bigger footprint than ever. Sessions announced so far include:

Making it Real: Tangible Worlds of Storytelling Mixed Reality for Superheroes, Zombies and Jedi Beyond AR/VR: the Dawn of Volumetric Production Illusion Design, Story Craft, and Virtual Worlds Let’s Get Real: Practical Uses of Art & Science

The Virtual Cinema also returns, as well as Trade Show demonstrations and more. VR/AR is a convergent track open to all badges, and runs from March 13-15. Read more!

Virtual Cinema at SXSW 2017. Photo by Merrick Ales

See These Showcasing Artists at SXSW 2018!

We are pleased to share the first list of 200+ confirmed Showcasing Artists for SXSW 2018. Snail Mail, The Wedding Present, Jay Park, Farina, Moses Boyd, Sun Seeker, and Shamir will all be performing in March. To get a broader picture of the great acts we’ve confirmed, visit our YouTube channel for a playlist of music videos from confirmed acts and jump over to the SXSW Spotify channel for a comprehensive mix of music from the announcement. In addition to these resources, we also highlight a different 2018 SXSW Showcasing Artist each weekday on our website and social media in the lead up to March. Read more!

Moses Boyd Exodus. Photo by Dan Medhurst

SXSW Alumni Artists Poised For a Great Night at The Latin Grammys

41 SXSW Alumni Artists were honored at the 2017 Latin Grammys on November 16, with 41 nominations across 19 categories, including Record of The Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. Six artists: Juanes, Danay Suarez, Residente, Mon Laferte, El Cuarteto de Nos and Natalia La Fourcade, all earned nominations in more than one category. Other familiar names on the honor roll included Jorge Drexler, Café Tacvba, Lila Downs, Alex Cuba and Bomba Estereo.

Mon Laferte at SXSW 2016

Experiential Storytelling returns

Experiential Storytelling programming also returns, exploring new forms of storytelling, and new ways to consider existing ones. Highlights announced so far include:

Black Gotham: Immersive Storytelling & Technology
Fear is in the Hands of the Creator: Horror in VR
NASA’s Universe of Storytelling Tools
Provocative Adult Coloring Books
Say What? How Interactive Audio Changes Everything

Experiential Storytelling is also a convergence track, available to all badges, and runs from March 12-14. Learn more about this track.

Filmmaker Fawzia Mirza during SXSW 2017's

SXSW Gaming Featured Speakers Announced

The SXSW Gaming Festival is bringing more esports and gaming industry content to Austin than ever before with newly-announced Featured Sessions. Attend SXSW Gaming in March to see Nate Nanzer (Commissioner, Overwatch League), Christina Alejandre (GM of ELEAGUE & VP of Esports, Turner Sports), Steve Arhancet (Co-CEO and Owner, Team Liquid), Brendan Donohue (Managing Director, NBA 2K League), and Pete Vlastelica (President and CEO, Major League Gaming) who all join the Featured Speaker lineup for SXSW Gaming 2018. With esports taking the gaming industry by storm, this is an exciting time to be at the forefront of pivotal conversations and trends that will forever shift the landscape of competitive gaming. SXSW Gaming sessions are open to all SXSW badgeholders and attendees with a SXSW Gaming Wristband.

Steve Arhancet, Co-CEO and Owner of Team Liquid

Apply for the SXSW Gaming Awards and Gaming Pitch Competition

The SXSW Gaming Awards present a unique opportunity to be recognized by thousands of gaming fans and industry pros during the SXSW Gaming Festival. Having premiered at SXSW 2014, the Gaming Awards have rapidly grown to receive thousands of applications across all 24 of its unique awards categories, which are dedicated to both AAA and indie gaming.

Dedicated exclusively for indie titles, the Gamer’s Voice Awards bring the the best in indie game development to the world’s stage at SXSW. Past successes include titles such as SUPERHOT, Gang Beasts, ARENA GODS, and Owlboy.

Are you developing the next great game? Participate in the 2018 SXSW Gaming Pitch Competition for a chance to gain invaluable feedback for your game or product pitch from industry experts, as well as a chance to compete and earn the title of “SXSW Gaming Best Pitch.”

Esports Tournament Stage at SXSW 2017

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Join us for unparalleled discovery, networking, and inspiration at the 2018 SXSW Conference & Festivals in Austin, Texas from March 9-18.