SXSW announces virtual 2021 festival

South by Southwest has revealed that they’ll be hosting an online 2021 event, following the cancellation of their 2020 event due to coronavirus restrictions.

The virtual festival will be taking place from March 16 – March 20 next year, and is set to offer a variety of keynote speeches, conferences, film screenings and more.

SXSW’s education conference, SXSW EDU, will take place the week before, commencing on March 9 and going until March 11.

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Today we’re launching #SXSW Online as part of our 2021 offerings. Join us for a digital experience featuring conference keynotes and sessions, screenings, showcases networking, and more March 16 – 20, 2021. We are working with the City of Austin and public health authorities on plans for a physical event and will provide updates as more information becomes available. Follow the link in our bio to learn how you can participate.

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Entries for the event will open on Tuesday, October 6, including submissions for the film festival as well as PanelPicker proposals for both SXSW and SXSW EDU.

However, in lieu of the standard application process the festival utilises to find artists to showcase, the music festival portion of 2021’s online event will instead be curated by programming staff, with preference given to those who were set to present and perform at the cancelled 2020 event.

Reps for the festival have confirmed that they are working with health officials and the city of Austin on plans for a physical 2021 event as well.

The 2020 event was one of the first major music festivals worldwide to be cancelled due to the pandemic, marking the first time it had been cancelled in 34 years.

The festival sparked controversy when they revealed they would not be refunding tickets to the cancelled event, and was even sued by ticketholders because of this.


They had previously stated that their insurance policy didn’t cover disease outbreak, and that they had to lay off employees following the cancellation.