The past year has been a time of drastic change and uncertainty. Like many US cities, Austin has suffered a loss in its tourism-based revenue, due to restrictions on travel and large-scale gatherings. South By Southwest is one of Austin’s most notable events, generating an estimated $355 million for the city each year.

In spring of 2020, SXSW became one of the first major events to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With cases still on the rise and vaccination rollouts stalled, the city of Austin is expected to continue with its bans on large-scale gatherings at least through March of this year.

Evolution For a New Era

As we continue to adapt to our “new normal”, SXSW has evolved as well. The festival’s 2021 event will take an online, virtual approach that’s become commonplace for festivals and conventions worldwide during the COVID-19 crisis.

CEO and SXSW co-founder Roland Swenson states: “The challenge of building a new future is one we’re excited to tackle. This has been such a year of change and we, like the entire world, are reshaping our perspective on how we reconnect. We’re pleased to be working on SXSW Online as part of our program for 2021, and regardless of platform, we will continue to bring together the brightest minds from creative industries worldwide.”


SXSW is a globally-acclaimed festival held annually, promoting creative professionals in the fields of film, music, technology and more. The official mission statement of SXSW is to “create opportunities for creatives to meet, learn and share ideas.”

Since 2011, SXSW Inc. has also hosted SXSWEdu: an event dedicated to the support of teachers and education.

Going Virtual

SXSW Online will take place from March 16th to the 20th. Keynote speakers, conference sessions, film and music showcases and online exhibitions will be offered for virtual attendees via the SXSW Online Pass, available for $399 per person. Attendees can register now to secure a special, early-bird discount of $249 per pass. Additional special rates for students and large groups are also available.


Please stay tuned for future announcements on keynote speakers and event programming. We hope you’ll continue to support this beloved Austin tradition, and the creative community as a whole.

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