Last year, March 2020, was the first time Austin’s annual music, film, tech, and culture festival South by Southwest (SXSW) was cancelled in its 34-year long history. Called off just one week ahead of its March 13th start, SXSW was just the first of many events and festivals that didn’t happen in 2020.

Though SXSW 2021 is scheduled to be a virtual experience due to the ongoing restrictions of public events, over 230 speakers, music sets, conferences, and film screenings are set to make it happen this March. SXSW 2021 will run for just five days instead of the usual ten, from March 16th – 20th.

SXSW organizers have yet to announce the bulk of their music lineup, but some of their keynote speakers include Willie Nelson, The Chainsmokers, Samantha Bee, Matthew McConaughey, and Queen Latifah. A full SXSW film screening lineup will be announced February 10th, but some highlights include Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, The Hunt for Planet B, and Hysterical.

Check back with us, as SXSW 2021 entertainers, thinkers, speakers, and the like, are still being determined and announced.

How to Attend SXSW 2021 Online: Registration, Tickets, and Discounts

Looking to attend the virtual events that SXSW 2021 has to offer? For SXSW Online, organizers are offering one pass that covers the entire event. This allows “attendees,” or virtual badge holders, the opportunity to attend events across the spectrum of industries known to SX.

For the price of $249, SXSW 2021 badges include the following:

  • Conference Keynotes & Featured Speakers
  • Mentor Sessions & Workshops
  • Film Festival* Exclusive Premieres, Screenings, and Q&As
  • Music Festival Showcases & Events
  • Comedy Festival Showcases and Podcasts
  • Online Exhibitions
  • Networking Meet Ups and Other Opportunities
  • Professional Development

Register for SXSW 2021 here—and soon. The festival website makes clear there are a limited number of passes available for the seamless, virtual experience of SXSW 2021.

Student Discount Application: If you are currently enrolled as a college undergraduate, postgraduate, or in high school grades 9-12, SXSW is offering a special student discount rate here. Students must apply for the discounted rate. The passes, being sold for an all-out steal of $59, are only available while supplies last. So, for those of you still in school, we suggest submitting your applications very soon!

SXSW 2021 Online Events: Conference Speakers, Musicians, Films, and More

SXSW, known for announcing their festival speakers and acts in rounds, is still in the process of announcing this year’s lineup. We encourage you to surf the SXSW website for the extensive list of the 2021 participants. Below, you can find a rundown of the music, film, and panel discussions we are most looking forward to in the SXSW 2021 Online lineup.

Music: Indigo Sparke, Francisca Valenzuela, A Place to Bury Strangers, Grrrl Gang, Walt Disco, Darkoo, Squid and more. You can check out a running playlist of SXSW 2021 Showcasing Artists, here.

Film: Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, The Hunt for Planet B, Jakob’s Wife, Luchadoras, Violet, Recovery, and more.

Speakers and Sessions: Mark Cuban, Imogen Heap, Wyclef Jean, Alex Ohanian, The Chainsmokers, Taraji P. Henson, Matthew McConaughey, Mark Mothersbaugh, and more. This year’s SXSW keynote speaker is none other than musician, author, entrepreneur, and activist, Willie Nelson. We can’t imagine a better individual to represent the folk outlier resistance that still runs through the city of Austin.

This year’s festival, the soul and spirit of SX will be uprooted from the streets of downtown to take place online. But, with festival organizers hard at work, and a lineup that becomes better by the week, we think SXSW 2021 is on its way to being a phenomena of its own rite.

Will SXSW 2021 be the first of many virtual online music festivals this year? The festival is even marketing itself: “The future from scratch.” We are excited for the technological advancement and opportunity music festivals are utilizing during these unsafe times. But hopefully, these models will live on to enhance, and not replace, what we’ve come to know and love as the live music experience.

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