The Ultimate Taste Of SXSW Sydney 2023: Free Public Events At Tumbalong Park Revealed

September 18, 2023

Didn’t think SXSW Sydney could get any better? Well, guess again. We’re thrilled to announce a series of free events held in Darling Harbour’s Tumbalong Park, giving everyone a taste of what SXSW Sydney has to offer.

From October 15 – 22, Tumbalong Park will become a hub for all things creativity and innovation, giving attendees the chance to experience the future of music, games, screen and tech in the heart of the city, as SXSW® graces our shores for the first time ever. Events will range from live performances, activations, showcases, screenings, demos, gameplay and even conference panels for those curious souls.

Along with the City of Sydney’s support in bringing this event to life, we’re excited to reveal the Tumbalong Park stage’s Presenting Partner, The Daily Telegraph. Editor, Ben English explains: “At The Daily Telegraph we’re for a vibrant and exciting Sydney. And that’s exactly what SXSW Sydney will create for a week in October. We hope to see all Sydneysiders – and visitors to our great state – enjoying for free the best in show content, be it screenings, bands, presentations or live radio shows, on the Tumbalong Park Stage presented by The Daily Telegraph – elevating Sydney’s reputation as the southern hemisphere’s home of innovation and creativity.”

Here are some of the program highlights so far, with many more yet to be announced:

Tech Demos

Dive right into the exciting world of cutting-edge tech with demos and activations, so you can discover first hand, the limitless possibilities of technology:

Advanced Navigation – Cloud Ground Control

  • Use drone technology to move full-sized Rovers around a track on the other side of the continent in Perth.

JMC Academy: Tech Showcase

  • Witness the convergence of technology and live performance as audience members’ responses to gestures of kindness made by JMC Academy’s acting students are caught by our roaming cameras and projected on the large screen for all to share.  
  • For the camera-shy, audience members can prompt a Generative Artificial Intelligence tool to transform the projections into surprising and heartfelt portraits.

UTS: Motor Sports Electric FSAW Team

  • The UTS Motorsports Electric team is proud to reveal its 2023 car at SXSW Sydney.
  • Experience the future of driving, as imagined by a 70-strong team of UTS students from the faculties of engineering, design, business, science and communication.

Live Music Performances  

A medley of local legends and international rising stars are set to take the stage at Tumbalong Park, including the very best of our Asia-Pacific neighbours.

Touchdown Under YEG Showcase, 19 and 20 October

  • A diverse group of talent from Asia to the Middle East, from operatic metal to Indonesian folk to Korean R&B, each band a true star in their own country, now ready to take on the world.  
  • Presented by China’s most loved music festival, Concrete & Grass, and Asia’s biggest label group, YEG Music.
  • Line-up: Isyana Sarasvati, GAC, Hindia, Nadin Amizah, Owen, Marv, Yuji, Ardhito Pramono, Feby Putri, Pop Shuvit, Soegi Bornean, Hujan, Adhitia Sofyan. Read more here.

Young Henrys Rock & Roll Circus

  • The beloved Sydney brewers are bringing their Rock & Roll Circus to SXSW Sydney, featuring secret acts covering iconic rock songs.

Breaking New Ground, presented by QMS

  • Breaking, one of the four elements of Hip Hop born in 1970s New York, is set to debut as the most highly anticipated new sport in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games
  • Gain an insight into cypher culture from the AUS Breaking Crew, ahead of the Oceania Olympic qualifying event, in this Q&A and battle – join the movement!  

JMC Academy Student Performances

  • Vocalists, bands, singer/ songwriters will grace the lunchtime stage with springtime vibes and dancing tunes.  

Conference Speakers

Feed your inner knowledge-seeker with a program of curated speakers and panellists covering topics from scientific discovery to the power of culinary delights.

Adam Spencer’s “Big Questions” Panel with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

  • Free form, no-holds-barred discussions with some of the most exciting minds at SXSW Sydney, expertly curated by one of the brightest and funniest hosts in the business, Adam Spencer.

Yiying Lu and Chef Martin Yan

  • A celebration of World Food Day with award-winner Chef Martin Yan and Creator of the Dumpling 🥟 & Boba 🧋 Emoji and TEDx Speaker on Innovation Yiying Lu, exploring how the universal languages of food and art transcend linguistic barriers, nurture bodies and minds, foster friendships and bring joy.

Game Demos and Speakers

Bust out your best moves with a wide range of esport titles ready for you to jump in and play, as well as freshly minted demonstrations, right out of the gaming world.

Community Esports Meetup

  • Strap in for an afternoon of head-to-head and team v. team esports live on stage… And if you’re feeling particularly bold, step up and test your button-mashing skills against the pros.  
  • Games like Rocket League, CSGO and League of Legends will be available to play!



Immerse yourself in brand activations, as you experience the very best the future has to offer.

Snapchat House  

  • Coming to the Chinese Gardens Forecourt, Snap Inc. is throwing open the doors to Snapchat House to enjoy the wonder of technology overlaid on the real world.  
  • In this immersive experience, visitors can unleash their creativity and dive into a world of augmented reality to add an extra layer of fun and play to a day with friends.


  • Advertising by Uber is bringing its “Bar in a Car” to SXSW Sydney 2023, where festival-goers, marketers and advertisers can enjoy a beverage or two, relax between sessions and learn how brands can use Uber to reach their audience as consumers go anywhere and get anything.  

Seven Network

  • Experience  Seven Network in the flesh as the network decamps to Tumbalong Park for a week of live programming and activities with your favourite hosts.  

Suntory –196  

  • SXSW Sydney Vodka Partner Suntory -196 is bringing its Extreme Japanese Spirit to the party with an activation of epic proportions — watch this space! More to come.  


  • The CommBank activation aims to demonstrate how we are helping Australians navigate a brighter future through innovation and technology. Take a turn through our maze which will surface tech innovations that are the building blocks of the world we live in today. So come and grab some refreshments at our coffee cart or bar, meet up with friends and renew, recharge and refresh.

The DEPT Garden House  

  • The DEPT Lounge is the perfect spot to unwind, catch up on work and connect, with scenic views of the Chinese Gardens of Friendship and complimentary food and drinks.
  • DEPT/Talks start at 2pm, talking technology and marketing with industry experts.

Live Radio Shows:

Get a front row seat to the world of radio broadcasts & podcasts, with live recordings and more, straight from Tumbalong Park.

FBi Grassroots – Live Radio Broadcast

  • Join Jaimee Taylor Nielsen for a live broadcast of ‘Arvos’.  

So, if you’re not sure how warm the water is at SXSW Sydney, then there’s no better place to dip your toes in and check than the Tumbalong Park stage.

Accessing SXSW Sydney – The Full Rundown on Badges and Wristbands:

While all activities listed above can be enjoyed for free, for a deeper SXSW Sydney experience, badges and wristbands are available.  

Badges are your master key for SXSW Sydney – they open the doors to all activity across the week-long event, from its Conference and Tech & Innovation Expo to its Music, Screen and Games Festivals.  

For example, as they are conference speakers, it is only possible to see the talks by Chance The Rapper and Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker with a badge.  

Wristbands give access to SXSW Sydney’s Music, Screen or Games festivals, for performances, screenings and showcases.  

  • Music Festival: 300 performances in 25 venues over 4 nights.  
  • Screen Festival: unlimited screenings over one week.
  • Games Festival: 150 new indie games and parties over 6 nights. 

For example, access to the world premiere screening of documentary Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles is only available with a badge or Screen Festival wristband.  

Click here to discover the right level of access for you.