SXSW Cultural Festival Goes Virtual For 2021 Experience
Photo Credit: Errich Petersen

SXSW Cultural Festival Goes Virtual For 2021 Experience

During the initial outbreak of the coronavirus, the entertainment industry was hit with the glaring reality that many in-person events would be canceled indefinitely for health precautions.

Months later, many brands and media giants are still recovering as they explore new ways to push forward and deliver quality events that give the same experience for consumers and fans.

In March of this year, the annual tech, music, and film festival SXSW announced it would cancel its 2020 events due to the virus. Even after companies like Amazon, Facebook and Twitter pulled out as sponsors, SXSW’s organizers tried to salvage the in-person event, but ultimately Austin City officials eventually stepped in to shut it down.

However, the cultural fest has bounced back to announce a new pivot that moves toward a digital future with the launch of SXSW Online.

“The challenge of building a new future is one that we’re excited to tackle, said SXSW CEO and Co-Founder, Roland Swenson, in a statement. “This has been such a year of change and we, like the entire world, are reshaping our perspective on how we connect. 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.”

Next year’s digital experience will take place March 16–20, 2021 which will feature conference keynotes and sessions, screenings, showcases, networking, and exhibitions as part of its first wave of participation opportunities, according to a blog post.

In addition to the festival’s digital experience, The Verge also reports that “SXSW is working with the City of Austin and public health authorities on plans for a physical event in 2021,” but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

The new normal for many media brands and entertainers is to rely heavily on technology and virtual efforts, and SXSW is among the first to start controlling their narrative in the digital future for music and entertainment.

For more information on SXSW Online 2021, click here.

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