One of the biggest music, arts and tech festivals is returning to Austin, TX, once more and the SXSW 2023 lineup is as impressive as ever.
For nine days in March, musicians, actors, technology innovators and activists descend on the Texan capital in what is the biggest festival of its kind in the world. Established in 1987, StyleCaster’s parent company Penske Media Corporation (PMC) partnered with the event in 2021 as a long-term partner and 50 percent SXSW shareholder. In 2023, the likes of Priyanka Chopra, Robert Downey Jr., Chelsea Handler and many, many more will join the lineup of keynote and featured speakers at the festival—among hundreds of events held around the city from March 10 to 19, 2023. Read everything you need to know about this iconic festival below.
What is SXSW?
South By Southwest, abbreviated to SXSW and known colloquially as South By, is an annual festival that brings together film, interactive media, music and adjacent industries. It was founded in 1987 and has run annually each year, except for years 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some events at that time were held virtually. In 2023, there’ll also be a spinoff festival happening in Sydney, Australia, in October 2023.
When is SXSW?
SXSW will run from March 10 to 19 2023.
Where is SXSW?
SXSW is held annually in the Texas capital of Austin. SXSW venues and events are clustered across Downtown Austin, while the majority of conference events take place at the Austin Convention Center at 500 E Cesar Chavez St.
What happens at SXSW?
The music part of the festival is the biggest of its kind in the world, with hundreds of acts performing across the city of Austin. Some are big names, such as in 2023 with psychedelic pop legends The Zombies, new wave icons New Order and Killer Mike, but the biggest draw card for many to the music element of South By is the joy of discovering new and exciting musical acts before anyone else.
On the music scene, there are some killer parties and live gigs. StyleCaster’s sister site Billboard will be returning to SXSW over three nights starting from March 16 to 18. On Thursday March 16, Lil Yachty will take the stage hot off the heels of his new album Let’s Start Here, presented by Doritos (tickets here). On Friday March 17, Feid and Eladio Carrión (tickets here) will deliver a show-stopping performance, presented by Samsung Galaxy. On Saturday March 18, Kx5—Kaskade x deadmau5—(tickets here) these acclaimed EDM artists will close out the three-night concert series with a can’t-miss dance party. It’s all going down at the Moody Amphitheater and tickets are available from $50 without a SXSW badge, and a reserve amount will be available exclusively for existing SXSW Music and Platinum Badge holders and SXSW Music Festival wristband holders on a first come first serve basis.
Meanwhile on the film schedule are some of the world’s biggest blockbusters to make their on-screen debut. This year, the highly anticipated Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, starring Chris Pine, Regé-Jean Page, Hugh Grant and many others will open the SXSW Film Festival. “The hype train is officially leaving the station, baby!” said Claudette Godfrey, VP Film & TV. “At SXSW, we believe in the power of film and television to bring people together. The highlight of our year is welcoming these filmmakers into our community and sharing their work with our one-of-a-kind audience. From thought-provoking documentaries and thrilling television series to hotly anticipated studio tentpoles and micro-budget dramas, we strive to showcase the best of a diverse range of work and couldn’t be more proud of this year’s lineup.”
Keynote and featured speakers are also a big part of the festival. Influential icons grace the stage at SXSW in an hour-long presentation that aims to showcase some of the world’s most inspired thinkers. Among those for 2023 are Priyanka Chopra Jonas, an actor, bestselling author and humanitarian; Tilda Swinton, a renowned actor and filmmaker; and Robert Downey Jr., Marvel superhero who will talk about cybercrime and its impact on the world. Meanwhile, comedian Chelsea Handler will be interviewed on stage by former White House Press Secretary for President Joe Biden and MSNBC host Jen Psaki.
The SXSW 2023 lineup
The most exciting conference events, though this is not an exhaustive list. There are literally HUNDREDS of events on in Downtown Austin so it really depends on what you’re looking for. The full schedule can be found here.
- Actors and married couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepherd
- Star Trek icon William Shatner
- #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke
- Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm
- Actor/comedian/producer John Leguizamo, in a session previewing upcoming TV series “Leguizamo Does America”
- Actress/producer Kerry Washington, in a session about the new Hulu series “UnPrisoned”
- The Office stars Ed Helms and Brian Baumgartner in a session about podcasts
- Author Deepak Chopra in a session on psychedelics and mental health
- ActorPaul Giamatti, recording an episode of his podcast CHINWAG with philosophy professor Stephen Asma
- Activist Chelsea Manning
- Oscar winner Troy Kotsur, in a session titled Daddy Issues in Film
- Director Sam Raimi and actor Bruce Campbell, in a session centered on their Evil Dead horror franchise and its next installment, Evil Dead Rise, which will screen at the film festival
- S. Rep. Maxwell Frost, in a session about gun violence and youth
- Blindspotting co-creatorsDaveed Diggs and Rafael Casal
- Texas-born actor Tye Sheridan in a session on A.I. and entertainment
- Dateline NBC correspondent Keith Morrison, a team from the TV news magazine and producer June Diane Raphael, in a session on true crime
How much are tickets to SXSW?
That depends on what you’re interested in attending and when you purchase, as there are pre-event prices and walk-up prices that are a little more expensive. All prices incur a sales tax, which is not included in the advertised price and is added at checkout. Tickets, which are called Badges, are as follows: A Platinum Badge, that’s access to EVERYTHING across the nine days, will set you back $1895 + tax (walk-up rate is $1,995). For just Interactive events, $1595 ($1695 walk-up), Film & TV events are $1495 ($1595 walk-up), and purely Music events are $895 ($995 walk-up). You can also attend events virtually with an Online Pass for $199. Purchasing any in-person badge this year also gets you access to the Comedy showcase from March 10-14.
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