2024 Session Select and Festival Submissions Now Open

February 13, 2024

From our Managing Director, Colin Daniels:

Time is a precious commodity.

Over the holiday period I finally found some time to properly reflect on the inaugural SXSW Sydney.

What that reflection gave me was an acutely heightened awareness of what we achieved last October. And when I say “we” I’m not just referring to the team of talented and tireless people who came together to conceive, develop, produce and deliver the event; I’m also referring to everyone in the rapidly assembled community that participated in the first SXSW Sydney.

There were over 100,000 people engaged during event week and thousands of others were involved in the lead-up and aftermath.

The NSW government, the City of Sydney, the venues (large and small), conference speakers, artists and practitioners from the screen, music and games industry, exhibitors, partners, sponsors, everyone from Australia and overseas who bought a badge or a wristband and those curious members of the public who visited our public events.

In your own varied and remarkable ways, you are all dreamers, doers and innovators; the sort of people and organisations SXSW Sydney needs to attract in order to come to life. You each took a massive leap of faith to engage with a first-time event, investing your precious time, passion and energy in showing up, and together we all created SXSW Sydney.

I am so appreciative of the way so many people generously and genuinely “leaned in”; without always knowing what the result would be. Your curiosity, good humour, sense of adventure and positive attitudes made you all the real stars of the show.

But time always moves on.

Our team is now fully engaged in delivering SXSW Sydney 2024. The dates are confirmed (October 14-20) and we are already feeling that now familiar sense of urgency and excitement. But in some ways, time is on our side. I recently observed that we are probably six months ahead of where we were last year.

In 2023, we were building the plane while we were flying it. This year, the plane is already (largely) constructed, airborne and rocketing towards its destination.

As a result, we fully expect that less will be done at the last minute. Expect programming announcements earlier than last year and the event schedule to be available well in advance of showtime.

This week, Session Select is officially open for business, giving our wonderful creative community an opportunity to display their thought leadership by submitting ideas for conference content. Our Screen, Music and Games festivals are also accepting submissions. I’m thrilled to report there were many positive outcomes arising from last year’s festivals; doors opened, contacts made, collaborations cemented, investment received and deals done; to say nothing of the intangible creative outcomes like inspiration and artistic evolution that inevitably happen when open-minded people come together en masse.

October will come around quickly – time does indeed fly when you are having fun. SXSW Sydney 2024 will evolve in its second incarnation but the essential pillars remain: the Conference (this year boasting some new content tracks), the expanded Tech & Innovation Expo, the Screen Festival, the Music Festival and the Games Festival, along with the Public Access events at Tumbalong Park.

We’ve listened to your feedback, too, and there will be new initiatives and innovations, more networking opportunities, a reduced event footprint and, of course, more coffee!

All will be revealed in the fullness of time.

As always, please feel free to get in touch and let me know how you would like to see SXSW Sydney evolve. It takes a very big and diverse village to raise this particular child, so thanks for being a part of that community.