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The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

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Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Here’s what you need to know about SXSW Online

The Daily Texan Staff

Editor's Note: This story first appeared in The Daily Texan's March 10 print edition.

After the festival’s first cancellation in 34 years in March 2020, SXSW is returning March 16-20 2021 to the digital stage due to Austin’s COVID-19 restrictions of large gatherings.


This year, SXSW will be conducted virtually for the first time. Live content will be broadcast across five channels on the SXSW mobile app and the Connected TV app every day of the festival from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m CST. 

There is one pass for the entire online event, which is currently available at a discounted rate of $325. Students can apply to purchase a pass at a special rate of $69 “while supplies last.”


The SXSW website states that most films will be available for on-demand viewing until the end of the conference. 

Many films do not have capacity limits, but the festival is opening up 5,000 spots for those that do. Attendees must RSVP on the SXSW Online Platform or mobile app starting Tuesday to secure their spot. 


Instead of performances scattered around Austin, featured musicians will stream their performances from locations around the world including a cable car in Norway and Australian backyards.

Streaming of the music festival will be available via web, mobile and the SXSW Online Connected TV app. Get familiar with the artists before the festival by listening to the “Official SXSW Online 2021 Playlist,” “On the SX Stereo: New Releases” on Spotify, Apple Music and Qobuz and watch the “SXSW Online 2021 Official Showcasing Artist Music Videos” playlist on YouTube. 


The comedy festival will consist of panels, podcasts, improv, sketches and parties with an ever-growing list of notable alumni such as Bill Hader, Kathy Griffin and Wanda Sykes. 


New to the SXSW event lineup is the SXSW Online XR. With recreations of iconic locations such as Congress Avenue and The Paramount Theatre, attendees can explore Austin venues in the virtual realm at three live sessions, seven artist and attendee meetups, six cinema special events and more that can be accessed through VRChat.

Within the virtual world, attendees will experience an in-depth look at the lives of three men imprisoned in Xinjiang, China, a performance in a Shakespearean Midsummer forest and life-changing missions of eight astronauts aboard the International Space Station.


Not only can attendees watch the performances, they’re encouraged to interact with artists, filmmakers and speakers in Q&A sessions, mentoring sessions and roundtable discussions. Many of these events require an RSVP. Attendees many begin RSVPing on Tuesday.


The digital experience is full of networking and professional development opportunities for attendees. The Professional Development Hub serves as a high-profile community bulletin board, featuring job opportunities from six companies, including White Claw and Dell Technologies. 

Another new addition to SXSW, The Creative Industries Exhibition, highlights some of the best innovators in business through industry leaders, small businesses and startups. Creatives are encouraged to collaborate and share ideas with others from around the world. 

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Here’s what you need to know about SXSW Online