SXSW 2024 Overview

SXSW is an annual music, film, and interactive festival held in Austin, Texas every March. The 2024 edition, SXSW 2024, will take place from March 8-16.

SXSW began in 1987 and has grown into one of the biggest creative industry events in the world. The conference focuses on cutting-edge trends in technology, music, and film. The music festival showcases performers from all genres, including up-and-coming acts and established stars. The film festival screens movies from new directors and major studios.

Key events include conference sessions, music showcases, film screenings, professional development programs, and networking events that connect tens of thousands of attendees from across the globe.

Attending SXSW 2024

Attending SXSW requires planning ahead to make the most of the experience. Here are some tips for registering, booking accommodations, and exploring Austin:

Registration and Badges

  • There are various badge types granting access to different parts of SXSW. Review the options and register early for the best rate.
  • Badge types:
    • Platinum – full access
    • Interactive, Film, Music – access to specific tracks
    • Online Pass – virtual access only
  • Register for your badge on the SXSW website.

Booking Hotels and Transportation

  • Austin hotels fill up fast during SXSW, so book yours as early as possible.
  • Consider staying downtown near the main venue clusters.
  • Accommodation options:
    • Hotels
    • Vacation rentals
    • Hostels
    • Homestays
  • Transportation:

Austin Attractions and Restaurants

  • When not attending SXSW events, explore Austin:
    • Live music venues on 6th Street
    • Zilker Park and Barton Springs
    • Hiking and biking trails
    • Museums and galleries
    • Lake Austin
    • The State Capitol
  • Amazing food scene with options for all budgets. Try:
    • Breakfast tacos
    • Barbecue
    • Tex-Mex
    • Food trucks

Pro tips:

  • RSVP for parties and events before arriving.
  • Follow SXSW and Austin recommendations on social media.
  • Pack comfortable shoes for walking between venues.
  • Download the SXSW app and schedules to plan your days.
  • Allow extra travel time with the crowds.
  • Check SXSW updates for venue changes or cancellations.

With smart planning, you can make the most of everything SXSW and Austin have to offer!

SXSW 2024 Programming

SXSW offers an immense amount of programming spanning all sectors of tech, film, and music. Here are some key things to check out:

Conference Sessions and Panels

  • Hundreds of sessions covering the latest innovations and trends.
  • Hot topics: AI, VR, blockchain, social media, space tech.
  • Panels with industry leaders and pioneers.
  • Keynote talks from visionaries.
  • Networking meetups and mixers.
  • Professional development workshops.

Music Showcases and Lineup

  • 1,000+ up-and-coming and known musicians across all genres.
  • Evening showcases at Austin venues.
  • Headliners revealed in early 2024 but expect big names.
  • Use the schedule to browse artists and customize your experience.

Film Screenings and Events

  • Premiere screenings of 100+ films.
  • Q&A panels with directors, actors, producers.
  • Range from indie pilots to major studio releases.
  • Red carpet premieres and afterparties.
  • VR cinema, workshops, and exhibits.

Comedy Festival and Performances

  • Standup shows from top comedians at intimate venues.
  • Improv, sketches, panel discussions, podcaster interviews.

Mentor Sessions and Networking

  • One-on-one mentor meetings with industry experts.
  • Small networking sessions for focused interactions.
  • Open-access meetups on specific topics.
  • Opportunities to connect with creatives from around the world.

Review the full schedule in advance and have backup options planned as schedules frequently shuffle. Use the SXSW app to sync your personalized itinerary.

The breadth of programming at SXSW means you’ll have endless opportunities for learning, discovering, and connecting.

SXSW History and Impact

Since starting in 1987, SXSW has grown from a small local music festival into one of the most renowned events celebrating creativity worldwide.

Origins and Growth Since 1987

  • SXSW began in 1987 in Austin, TX as a local music festival.
  • It steadily expanded into film and interactive technology.
  • Key milestones:
    • 1994 – Film and multimedia tracks added
    • 1995 – SXSW online launched
    • 1999 – First conference keynotes
    • 2013 – Integrated festival & conference
  • Today it spans 10 days and attracts over 280,000 attendees.

Promoting Creatives and New Talent

  • SXSW provides exposure for up-and-coming creators in music, film, art, and tech.
  • Past star-making performances: Hanson, John Mayer, Amy Winehouse.
  • Many unknowns have become household names after big festival breaks.
  • Embraces underrepresented voices and fresh concepts.
  • Springs new trends and propels careers.

Premier Event for Creative Industries

  • Leading destination for networking and deal-making in media and tech.
  • Launches innovative startups and products like Twitter and Foursquare.
  • Revolutionary ideas that shape culture are seeded here.
  • Top brands host interactive exhibits and immersive experiences.
  • Trailblazers across industries deliver 400+ sessions and keynotes.
  • Unites global creative community each March in Austin.

After 36+ years, SXSW maintains a scrappy, experimental ethos while scaling into an internationally iconic festival and conference. Its risk-taking spirit continues to revolutionize industries and push creativity forward each year.

Frequently Ask Questions

SXSW 2024 takes place from March 8-16 in Austin, Texas. The main festival and conference activities span 10 days and primarily occur in downtown Austin.

In addition to the conference sessions, film screenings, and music showcases, there are many unofficial events and activities in Austin during SXSW:

  • Explore Austin’s live music venues, parks, trails, museums, and restaurants
  • Attend sponsored brand experiences and parties
  • See street performers and pop-up events around downtown
  • Participate in local 5Ks, yoga, and fitness activities
  • Shop emerging brands at the SXSW marketplace
  • Network and socialize at mixers and meetups

With hundreds of thousands of attendees flooding Austin, transportation can be tricky during SXSW. Recommended options:

  • Walk or bike when possible
  • Use rideshares or taxis for longer distances
  • Take advantage of shuttle services run during SXSW
  • Travel early or late to avoid peak congestion times
  • Allow plenty of time to get between venues
  • Use public transit like buses and trains when available

It’s highly recommended to book hotels, Airbnbs, hostels and other Austin accommodations 4-6 months in advance or as early as possible. Rooms fill up extremely quickly given the high demand during this popular event.

  • Carefully review the schedules and profiles of all musiciansspeakers, films etc.
  • Identify your must-see priorities before arriving
  • Map out your schedule including backup options
  • Use the SXSW app to sync your schedule
  • Leave room for spontaneity and discovering new talents
  • Check schedules regularly as they frequently change


For over 35 years, SXSW has showcased rising talent and brought together the most innovative creators across tech, film, music, and more. The 2024 edition from March 8-16 promises to continue this tradition of creativity and discovery.

With extensive programming spanning all sectors of arts and technology, there is something for everyone at SXSW 2024. Attendees can immerse themselves in groundbreaking conference sessions, discover up-and-coming musicians and comedians during hundreds of showcases, experience cinematic premieres and immersive exhibitions, network with industry leaders and peers from around the world, and explore all that host city Austin has to offer.

The key to maximizing SXSW is planning ahead – booking accommodations, researching the lineup and schedule, and mapping out a personalized itinerary. With smart preparation, attendees can fully experience the serendipity and spontaneity that makes SXSW so special each March.

The 2020s will be a defining decade for creativity and innovation across industries. SXSW 2024 offers a front-row seat to the ideas, trends, and talents that will shape the future. We can’t wait to see you in Austin!

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