South by Southwest

South by Southwest, abbreviated as SXSW and colloquially referred to as South By, is an annual conglomeration of parallel film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences organized jointly that take place in mid-March in Austin, Texas, United States. It began in 1987 and has continued to grow in both scope and size every year. In 2017, the conference lasted for 10 days with the interactive track lasting for five days, music for seven days, and film for nine days.

South by Southwest
The official logo for SXSW since 2017
GenreConference and festival
DatesMarch (dates vary but generally coinciding with University of Texas at Austin spring break and also usually includes St. Patrick's Day)
FrequencyAnnual
Location(s)Austin, Texas, U.S.
Years active34
Inaugurated1987
FoundersRoland Swenson, Louis Jay Meyers, Louis Black, Nick Barbaro
Next eventMarch 2022 (dates TBD)
Attendance
  • SXSW Music: 28,119
  • SXSW Interactive: 30,621
  • SXSW Film: 16,297
  • SXSW EDU: 4,260
  • Other Exhibits/Parties: 152,000
Organized bySXSW, LLC
Websitesxsw.com

SXSW is run by the company SXSW, LLC, which organizes conferences, trade shows, festivals, and other events.[1] In addition to the three main South by Southwest festivals, the company runs other conferences: SXSW EDU, a conference on educational innovation, held in Austin,[2] and the me Convention (started in 2017), held in Frankfurt, Germany and in Stockholm, Sweden, in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz.[3][4] Former conferences run by the SXSW organization include SXSW Eco, a conference focusing on social and environmental issues through the lens of technology, creativity and design held in Austin from 2011 to 2016;[5] and another in Las Vegas: SXSW V2V, a conference focused on innovative startups,[6] which ran from 2013 to 2015. Previously, SXSW produced music festivals North by Northwest (NXNW) in Portland, Oregon, North by Northeast (NXNE) in Toronto, and West by Southwest (WXSW) in Tucson, Arizona.

There was no in-person SXSW in either 2020 or 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;[7][8] both years, there was a smaller online event instead.[9]

In April 2021, Penske Media Corporation purchased a 50% stake in SXSW.[10]