Austin’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival is just around the corner, running from March 11 to March 20, 2022. This conference and festival have become a massive hit with people for its unique way of bringing technology, music, film, culture, and education together at one event. Like many other festivals, SXSW was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. But, now it’s back bigger and better than ever this year. And, we’re here to convince you why it’s not too late for you to buy a ticket and join the fun with these nine reasons to visit SXSW this year.
1. Get up to speed on the latest in music
The music lineup at SXSW is easily one of the best lineups of any festival out there. In 2022, some of the most notable artists coming out are Ezra Furman, Maxo Kream, Claud, Katy Kirby, Pom Poko, and Geese, to name just a few. In total, over 300 artists are performing this year.
Unlike many other festivals that focus on the artists that are already big, SXSW loves to feature the “up and coming.” There’s no denying that you’ll hear some people at SXSW who, in just a few months, will become the next big thing.
If you love knowing who the newest, trendiest artists are, SXSW is the spot to be.
2. The speaker panels
SXSW isn’t a dry conference with motivational speakers telling you to get up at five am to be the best version of yourself. One thing SXSW consistently does well every year is bring on amazing speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds. In many cases, these are people you otherwise would have probably never gotten to hear at a live event in your lifetime!
Whether you’re interested in business, advocacy, technology, or entertainment, there’s probably a speaker session you’re going to get excited about.
Some of the notable speakers lined up for 2022 include:
- Activist and sister of Breonna Taylor Ju’Niyah Palmer and civil rights activist and partner of Breonna Taylor Kenneth Walker
- Corporate Vice President, Game Creator Experience and Ecosystem at Microsoft Sarah Bond
- Creator, professional gamer, Twitch streamer, and YouTube personality Tyler “Ninja” Blevins
- New York Times #1 bestselling author and TV personality Chrissy Teigen
- Primetime Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Marina Zenovich
- Grammy Award-Winning singer/songwriter Jason Isbell
- Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Vivek Murthy
- Queer Eye star, New York Times bestselling author, podcaster, and hairstylist Jonathan Van Ness
- Gravity Payments founder Dan Price
And that is just a handful of the many, many impressive speakers set to take the stage.
3. Everything tech
At its core, SXSW is a showcase conference. When it comes to the tech side of things, SXSW is an opportunity for many new products to get out in front of a large audience and make a use case for themselves. Instructional workshops and one-on-one mentor opportunities with tech industry leaders give every technology lover a chance to geek out.
You’ll hear from some of the biggest and brightest in the technology industry give speeches, and you’ll see some fantastic products on display.
This year, med-tech seems to be a focus at SXSW 2022. Some of the fascinating interactive panels and sessions happening include:
4. Networking opportunities
SXSW brings together like-minded people who have a genuine interest in learning about the latest and greatest in technology, education, music, film, entertainment, and more. When you find yourself at an event, session, or show, you’ll find that connecting with others is natural and easy. Everyone is there to learn from each other and open to building connections. This is a great networking opportunity that can help you build relationships you can leverage later on – for business or for fun!
5. Lots of free stuff
It’s human nature to love getting gifts. And, the good news is, there’s plenty of free stuff to go around at SXSW. The number of free things you can get will depend on the type of ticket you get, but just about everyone can access some free perks. For example, most ticket holders can get into free shows and parties. If you purchased a more expensive registration, you might also be receiving a SWAG bag with t-shirts, books, sunglasses, earbuds, and even digital swag to unlock.
6. The exhibitions
SXSW’s exhibitions are also a must-see every year. In 2022, the exhibitions are slotted into four categories: Creative Industries Expo, Flatstock 77, SXSW Art Program, Wellness Expo, and XR Experience.
Personally, we’re most excited about the XR Experience exhibition, which features projects in virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality technologies. You’ll get to explore outstanding immersive projects by an array of talented international producers.
7. The film and comedy festivals
The music festivals at SXSW get the most attention, but we want to shine a spotlight on the film and comedy festivals too. Every year an amazing lineup is featured both for film comedy by the best and up-and-coming talents in the industry. Whether you’re coming to the festival for one of these – or both – festivals, you won’t be disappointed by what you see!
8. There’s no other conference like it
Honestly, there is no other conference like SXSW. Where else can you spend a day listening to speeches by members of the American government, founders of major tech companies, celebrities, and social activists all in one place? Or, where else can you go from watching an international film release to listening to a comedy special and ending your night with a concert by a new up-and-coming artist? SXSW is unique because it brings together so many different people from various industries, backgrounds, and interests. It’s a collection of amazing people who all have one thing in common – a passion for learning and seeing what’s new in the world.
9. You need to get back to live events
After more than two years of pandemic shutdowns and event cancellations, it’s time to take advantage of getting back to live events. SXSW had to cancel the last two years and it’s ready to make up for lost time with a spectacular return. This is a perfect live event for early 2022 that will take you back to the pre-pandemic days.
So, what are you waiting for? Time to grab a ticket and start planning for your 2022 SXSW adventure!