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South by Southwest wants everyone to head back to Austin next year

After almost two years of pivoting, SXSW 2022 aims to bring back the definitive creative conference and festival experience

With the pandemic in full swing, 2020 saw the organizers and participants of SXSW scramble to help creatives and businesses who were most affected by the cancellation. This included pushing through with online awards ceremonies, a virtual film festival, and a series of online discussions with some of the chosen speakers for that year.

In 2021, SXSW explored an all-digital format, bringing elements from the previous year plus innovative event experiences like SXSW Online XR, which presented virtual tours and online versions of iconic Austin locations.

SXSW Online XR – Making of a Reeducated: A VR New Yorker Documentary

With the world slowly getting its bearings back, the creative festival is setting its sights on getting everyone together at the iconic Texan capital in 2022. As of writing, applications for the SXSW Conference and the Music Festival have been opened.

The SXSW community will play a significant part in shaping the conference for next year. Creative proposals will be accepted from June 29 to July 22, 2021 via PanelPicker, which allows participants to browse submissions, leave comments, and vote to shape the event during a designated Community Voting session from August 10 to 26, 2021.

Mandy Moore attends “This Is Us” Premiere – SXSW 2018 – Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW
Jean-Michel Jarre’s Welcome to the Other Side performance at SXSW Online XR   

Tracks and themes for 2022 include brainstorming the future of music, envisioning 2050, climate change, among others. A new segment, industry specific Summits, will include specialized multi-day content on topics like fintech, the future of work, and related topics to be announced soon.

Meanwhile, the SXSW Music Festival brings together artists, industry veterans, influencers, and music lovers worldwide, hoping to rekindle the magic of live music again with showcases from the most exciting new talents and legendary voices. Applications are accepted until October 7, 2021.

Featured Session: Changing the Narrative with Zoe Saldana – SXSW 2019 – Photo by John Feinberg

Later on, the SXSW Film Festival will start accepting submissions across different categories from August 24 to October 19, 2021. The conference is also accepting entries for the best digital creative work for the SXSW Innovation Awards, and the most inventive startups for the SXSW Pitch.

SXSW 2022 registration and housing will open late summer. To register for the event, you can visit