Austin, TX

SXSW 2023 Could Be Its Biggest Event Yet

Brian Matthew
SXSW Conference StagePhoto bySXSW

SXSW (also known as South by Southwest) ss an annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in Austin, Texas, in the United States. The event features a variety of keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and performances by musicians, filmmakers, and other professionals in the entertainment industry.

It is considered one of the largest and most influential events of its kind and attracts a diverse range of attendees from all over the world, and 2023 looks to continue that streak from March 10-19. Last year, the event drew 278,681 attendees, and it could grow this year as topics like generative AI take off.

Conference tracks include cannabis, civic engagement, food, the game industry, the metaverse, media, psychedelics, sports, and more.

The festival already announced two waves of film and television programming, including the series premieres of "Swarm" and "Beef" on opening and closing night. "Swarm" is a dark comedy created by Donald Glover and Janine Nabers that follows a woman's love for a fictional pop star that takes a dark turn. Meanwhile, "Beef" tells the story of two strangers whose lives are permanently altered after a road rage incident.

SXSW will feature 108 films, 73 of which are world premieres. There's also a packed music roster, featuring over 300 artists from around the world. The lineup additions include New Order, Killer Mike, and THUS LOVE, among others. Newly-announced Showcase Presenters include Adult Decisions, Alcopop! Records, and several others.

Music and entertainment magazine Billboard is set to return to the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, with three star-studded concerts featuring Lil Yachty, Feid and Eladio Carrión, and Kx5 (Kaskade x deadmau5). The concerts will be held at Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park in Austin from March 16-18.

The magazine will also host the Billboard House, an interactive content house featuring brand activations, photo opportunities, and bites, and conversations with musicians and industry leaders. A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to the Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, a non-profit organization that seeks to create an urban park system in partnership with the city of Austin.

Of course, it isn't all fun and games--the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) has launched a petition calling for music festival at SXSW to improve compensation for the indie artists that perform each year. The petition, signed by hundreds of artists, argues that the festival has, for at least a decade, offered one-time payments of either $250 for groups or $100 for solo performers, or a festival wristband in compensation for their performances.

UMAW demands that SXSW increase showcase compensation to at least $750 for all performers, remove the application fee, and provide a festival wristband alongside compensation. The group previously lobbied Spotify to increase royalty rates.

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Freelance journalist and blogger focused on the intersection between technology, business, and culture. His work can be found in High Times, Jim Cramer's The Street, and Forbes. Always keeping an eye out for newsworthy stories...

Las Vegas, NV

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