SXSW Sydney 2023: Our top 5 experiences

SXSW celebrated its inaugural event in Australia with events happening all across the city of Sydney. While there were over 500 events to choose from, we managed to whittle it down to the five best gaming experiences we had during our time across the various events. Please note, these are in no particular order.

Troy Baker

The voice actor of some of the biggest games of our generation including The Last of Us, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and many many more. Troy Baker came to talk about his illustrious voice-acting career as well as participating in the Stray Gods soundtrack to life at the opening of the festival.

A Welcome Surprise

Troy simply surprised the hell out of us with a live concert at the Sneaky Possum in Chippendale after his “In Conversation” event at the Fortress. The songs inspired by The Last of Us were written during lockdown. Baker was on guitar and vocals with a violinist, drummer and pianist all pulling it together with one day’s worth of rehearsal. What an experience!

The Games Festival Opening Party

Held at Sydney’s newest gaming venue The Fortress, this was an off-shoot of its Melbourne counterpart, but the event truly felt like the start of something special and set the tone for the next 9 days to come.

Stray Gods in Concert

If you haven’t played this game from Melbourne studio Summerfall, you really are missing out! This concert featured live performances of songs from the game from Troy Baker and actress Anjali Bhimani (you know her from Ms. Marvel!) It was a truly epic event that was accentuated by these incredible performers who understood the assignment.

Games Festival Awards Night

If you have browsed TikTok, YouTube or Instagram Reels, you would know the name Tom Cardy. This hilarious musical prodigy has delivered some of the most viral moments in recent years. Hosting and handing out some of the biggest awards to game creators and devs, was not only entertaining, it was also accentuated by the after-party featuring rooftop karaoke. Notable winners include the Paper Trail for Best International Game, Nine Soles for Discovery Game Award and Game of the Year, Dredge.

SXSW Sydney had an absolutely stellar lineup and was a fantastic follow-on from PAX AUS in Melbourne just one week before. Giving Sydney its own gaming festival stacked with new products, drivers and star-studded events. Hopefully, this is only the beginning for SXSW in Sydney and I look forward to seeing what it can bring next year.