SXSW Conference and Festivals 2019 —
August 12, 2020

SXSW Conference and Festivals 2019

South By Southwest dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their professional goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of three industries: interactive, film and music. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities.

SXSW 2019 Conference

Featuring a variety of tracks that allow attendees to explore what’s next in the worlds of film, culture, music, and technology, SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. Some categories that SXSW Conference attendees will enjoy March 8-17 include Entertainment Influencers, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, Film & TV Industry, Cannabusiness, and more.

Actor Zoe Saldana

The Entertainment Influencers track features Inspirational talks from thought leaders, experts, and innovators, including conversations with high-profile speakers from around the entertainment, film, and TV industries. A common theme within these talks: how can independent artists lead creative lives? This year will see the likes of actors Elizabeth Moss and Zoe Saldana, director Frank Oz and talk show host Busy Phillipps.

Blockchain and cryptocurrency will be a major topic in this year’s tech portion of the conference. The foundations for the blockchain and digital currency economy are quickly being laid and blockchain technology is already changing an array of industries including finance, healthcare, government, music, film, and many more.

During Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Track sessions, hear from technologists, investors, creators and industry leaders as they explore the ways in which blockchain technologies are being deployed and discover the power of digital currencies that are fueling the exponential rise of this technology across all industries.

The Film & TV Industry track will highlight the current and future states of film and television through the independent lens. Sessions in the Film & TV Industry Track cover topics such as distribution, financing, representation, technological advancements and the ever-changing nature of film and television.

As cannabis becomes more widely legalized, Cannabusiness grows more popular and is a hot topic. There is immense opportunity for entrepreneurs to seek funding and grow their businesses within a rapidly evolving industry. Please be aware that cannabis and related laws vary. Programming in this track is designed to inform attendees about this fast-changing industry, and does not promote the use or sale of illegal drugs.

SXSW 2019 Interactive Festival

The evening networking events that make up the SXSW Interactive Festival range from parties to award presentations — and almost everything in between. On Friday evening, March 8, don’t miss the Interactive Festival Opening Party. This event provides a great venue to make connections that will serve you for the next few days — and beyond.

Award ceremonies that are part of the SXSW Interactive Festival honor some of the industry’s most important innovators. Catch the winners at events such as the Interactive Innovation AwardsAccelerator AwardsRelease It Awards, and Community Service Awards.

The networking opportunities continue at the Interactive Mix at Six and the Interactive Bash – complete with complimentary food, drinks, and special musical guests.

 SXSW 2019 Film Festival

The SXSW Film Festival celebrates raw innovation and emerging talent from both behind and in front of the camera. Held March 8-16,  the event will feature provocative dramas, documentaries, comedies, genre standouts, and more. It has become known for the high caliber and diversity of films presented, and for its smart, enthusiastic audiences.

Running simultaneously with SXSW Interactive and SXSW Music, film festival attendees have the opportunity to connect with tech and music industry experts. The full lineup will include 44 films from first-time filmmakers, 86 World Premieres, 11 North American Premieres, and 5 U.S. Premieres.

SXSW 2019 Music Festival

Each year the SXSW Music Festival hosts a curated mix of artists performing in bars, clubs, parks, churches, hotels, and more. This year’s festival will take place March 11-17.

Not limited in genre or regional focus, audiences can enjoy a variety of musical styles at SXSW. Showcases are curated by record labels, booking agencies, management and PR firms, export offices, publishers, media outlets, lifestyle brands, festivals, and more, drawing on a pool of artists looking to enhance their careers by reaching new audiences.

SXSW music and platinum badges enjoy primary access to official showcases, conference programming, and more, encouraging networking, discovery, and exposure for participating musicians to industry attendees. Film and interactive badges also have secondary access to these opportunities.

There are a number of unofficial parties and free showcases for those without badges as well. SXSW allows guests to sign up for updates on free events through their website, and places like Do512 and Eventbrite provide listings with a wide array of free events that might only require attendees to RSVP.

Begin a long week of music at the SXSW Music Opening Party on Tuesday, March 12 at The Main & The Main II from 6-9 p.m. Aside from great musical talent on two stages, there will be complimentary beverages.

The lineup includes DC “sugar trap” act Rico Nasty, Damnably’s Japanese punks Otoboke Beaver, Congolese afro-techno group KOKOKO!, German robot maestro Moritz Simon Geist, and sunny electro pop duo Reyna Tropical. The SXSW Music Opening Party is open to Music and Platinum Badges as well as Artist Wristbands.

Another highlight of the music festival will be three nights of music on the lawn at the SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake. These performances take place on SXSW’s largest stage and are open to all SXSW Badges, Wristbands, and is free to the public with the free SXSW Guest Pass.

On Thursday, March 14  things kick off with anthemic alt-rock trio X Ambassadors, with support from soulful British singer-songwriter Jamie N Commons, Aussie R&B-inflected pop singer Odette, and LA pop-rock duo VOILÀ.

Atlanta hip hop/R&B/soul supergroup Dungeon Family featuring iconic rapper Big Boi, Organized Noize singer/producer Sleepy Brown, and hip-hop collective Goodie Mob headline the park on Friday, March 15, with support from Austin-based indie MC Abhi The Nomad and more.

Musician Patty Griffin

Saturday, March 16 features a performance from legendary Austin singer-songwriter Patty Griffin, with support from soft pop multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird, Arizona-based folk singer Courtney Marie Andrews, and Americana guitar ace William Tyler.

To conclude the week, stop by Palm Door on Sixth on Sunday, March 17 for a night of dancing, music, conversation, and tunes by DJ Jester the Filipino Fist. He’ll be kicking things off as well as closing the night with plenty of jams to get your feet moving.

The eclectic lineup will feature a bit of everything, including performances by New Zealand indie pop icons The Chills, self-released experimental pop act Jonathan Bree, soulful funk group Superfónicos, and Austin’s party-rocking hip-hop group Riders Against the Storm.

Come early, stay late – music starts at 7:45 PM. We’ll see you there!

For more information, including item and carry-on bag restrictions, transportation, shuttles and parking information, visit

About Merideth Cox 239 Articles
Merideth is a music writer who has covered bands from her hometown in Colorado to London to Bangkok to Shanghai and finally back to Austin. Led Zeppelin changed her life. So did Dolly Parton. You can read her music reviews at

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