SXSW Sydney 2023: A fusion of creativity, innovation, and local talent

For the first time in its history, the renowned futurist conference and festival, South by Southwest (SXSW), is expanding beyond its Texan roots to Sydney, Australia. Taking place from October 15 to October 22, 2023, SXSW Sydney promises to be an extraordinary event, bringing together the world’s most inspired thinkers, creators, and innovators right here in Australia. This groundbreaking edition will feature an immersive week-long program, covering Tech and Innovation, Gaming, Music, Screen, and Culture. 

What is SXSW anyway?

SXSW, renowned for its 37-year history of being a launchpad for innovation and creativity in Austin, Texas, is making its debut in Sydney, NSW.  This week-long “festival of festivals” in Sydney, NSW, showcases music, film premieres, technology, and inspiring speakers. Notable entities like Uber and Billie Eilish emerged from SXSW Austin, solidifying its reputation as a creative hotbed. SXSW Sydney aims to replicate this success, bringing together world-leading speakers and over 400 artists to perform. With prominent brands as sponsors, the inaugural event promises to be a momentous gathering of entrepreneurs, artists, and industry pioneers, celebrating the spirit of creativity and innovation.

Where will SXSW Sydney take place? 

All based within  Sydney’s CBD and surrounding neighbourhoods, SXSW Sydney will stretch across Haymarket, Darling Harbour, Ultimo, Chippendale and beyond. Venues include ICC Sydney, UTS, and The Powerhouse Museum, with the SXSW Music Festival also taking over live venues across the city.

What can we expect at SXSW Sydney?

SXSW Sydney will feature more than 700 keynotes, presentations, panels, workshops, and mentor sessions, across a huge range of venues. The Technology & Innovations Exhibitions showcase will be on hand to celebrate some of the most innovative companies from across the Asia-Pacific region, while emerging businesses will have their moment to shine over at the Startup village, with presentations, workspaces, and networking opportunities galore.


The SXSW Sydney Music Festival has announced a huge line-up of artists who will take over live music venues across Sydney for the duration of the conference. And it’s about more than just performing for their fans – the festival is an opportunity to reach industry representatives, media professionals, and a global audience. With an already impressive roster of both local artists, such as PANIA, Rum Jungle, and Mali Jo$e, as well as international acts like Wallice and Nuha Ruby Ra to get excited about, you can find the growing list of artists set to attend right HERE.

This year, Dr. Martens and Vans, will be joining the major Aussie sponsor Young Henrys at SXSW Sydney. Dr. Martens will host their own performance hub with Dr. Martens Presents, while Vans will showcase their talent at the House of Vans. Both brands have established a reputation for hosting unforgettable parties at SXSW in Austin, with incredible line-ups that have previously included the likes of Denzel Curry, The Stooges, Alex G, ODESZA, and Wolf Alice.

Key dates include:

16-21 Oct: Conference
18-21 Oct: SXSW Sydney 2023 Music Festival
18-21 Oct: industry networking events and parties


The SXSW Sydney Screen Festival showcases a captivating world of film and TV, with red carpet premieres, XR showcases, free outdoor screenings, and an innovative Screen market. Part of the broader SXSW Sydney event, this festival provides a platform for screen creatives in the Asia-Pacific region. The event offers red carpet premieres of intriguing works such as “Anita,” a film exploring the life of Rolling Stones Muse, Anita Pallenberg, and “Cypher,” a fictional pseudo-music documentary centered around the artist Tierra Whack. The XR Showcase offers  immersive experiences in VR, AR, MR, and interactive AI, featuring the documentary “Knit’s Island,” which blurs the boundaries between reality and virtual exploration.

In support of emerging talent, the festival celebrates visionary creators challenging traditional screen formats. Insightful industry leaders and speakers like Que Minh Luu , Paul Tollet and Osher Günsberg  will engage in discussions on future screen technology and cultural perspectives. The venues hosting the event will include ICC’s Darling Theatre and Palace Cinemas Central. 

Film buffs should lock in the following dates:

15-21 Oct: SXSW Sydney 2023 Screen Festival
16-19 Oct: industry networking events and parties
16-21 Oct: Conference
18-21 Oct: Tech & Innovation Expo, incl. XR showcases

We’ve got an even more in-depth look at the movie side of SXSW Sydney right HERE.


The Games Festival at SXSW Sydney boasts an impressive lineup of unmissable speakers and industry leaders, such as Amy Webb, Riot Games’ Andrei van Roon and Kjartan Arsaelsson, Brent Koning and Hannah Kennedy. Fortress Sydney will serve as the main venue for the festival, hosting launches, parties, the Festival Stage, Awards Night, and special programming. The festival will showcase 150 indie games from various countries, with publishers and agencies from around the world attending, including Raw Fury, Kepler Interactive & Kowloon Nights, Team 17, Rocketride Games, Screen Australia, Screen QLD, VIC Screen, and Invest South Australia.

Panels and sessions will keep you at the forefront, covering topics including death and dying in video games, brain-computer interfaces, ethical living with robots, game collecting in the National Archive, using more First Nations knowledge in design, the myth of the single user, trademarking ideas in a rapidly changing world, and more.

Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) tickets are sold out! Only Platinum and Games Badges Holders will have access to the Intel Extreme Masters.

Gamers, here’s what you’ll need to mark off on your calendar:

15-21 Oct: SXSW Sydney 2023 Screen Festival
16-19 Oct: industry networking events and parties
16-21 Oct: Conference
18-21 Oct: Tech & Innovation Expo, incl. XR showcases


SXSW Sydney’s Tech & Innovation event, from October 15 to 21, gathers tech visionaries for inspiring talks, including guest speakers Amy Webb and Genevieve Bell. Panel discussions cover AI, Big Tech transparency, sustainable solutions, and more. The event culminates in the SXSW Sydney Pitch, where startup founders present to global innovators, such as Slack Co-Founder Carl Henderson, for potential funding and exposure. With industry networking, parties, and a Tech & Innovation Expo featuring startups at the Startup Village, the event provides a comprehensive immersion into the future of technology.

Some dates you’ll want to keep track of include:

15-19 Oct: industry networking events and parties
16-21 Oct: Conference
18-19 Oct: SXSW Sydney Pitch
18-21 Oct: Tech & Innovation Expo, incl. Startup Village

Guest Speakers

The SXSW Sydney event boasts an impressive lineup of over 700 world-leading speakers and industry leaders, representing diverse fields and expertise. Among the notable names are De-extinction entrepreneur Ben Lamm who will join forces with Andrew Pask, a prominent authority in mammalian evolution, development, and reproductive technologies. 

Ben says:

“One thing I remain hyper-focused on as a leader is bringing the best and brightest together across industries in order to celebrate technological innovation, art exploration and cultural experiences. SXSW has established the world’s zeitgeist of disruption across these verticals, and I’m honoured to continue to be connected to its global stage.”

Recently announced keynote speakers include Coachella CEO Paul TollettQueer Eye fashionista Tan France, and Slack Co-Founder Cal Henderson, as well as guest speakers Per Sundin, the CEO of Pophouse Entertainment, known for his collaborations with renowned artists like Avicii, Tove-Lo, and Swedish House Mafia, Que Minh Luu, ANZ Director of Content at Netflix, Guy Kawasaki, the Chief Evangelist of Canva, and Robyn Denholm, the Chairman of Tesla and Operating Partner at Blackbird Ventures.

Other notable names include the likes of  Motion Picture Association CEO Charles Rivkin, advertising icon David Droga, Google Australia MD Mel Silva, Indonesian Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno,  World Surfing Champion Layne Beachley, tech entrepreneur Paul Bassat, Reddit CMO Roxy Young, artistic director Wesley Enoch and K-pop Chief A&R Officer at SM Entertainment Chris Lee. 

So how do I get in on this?

SXSW Sydney 2023 offers different badge options for attendees to access the event. The Platinum Badge provides unlimited primary access to all programming, while the Industry Badge offers priority access to industry-specific events. Early release prices are available. You can purchase badges HERE.

You can find more information about the event HERE, and follow the event on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter