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SXSW is making a comeback! Festival organizers still planning on mostly in-person event

Dozens of local artists, musicians, entrepreneurs and academics are slated to attend SXSW 2022. (SXSW)

After a rocky two years for Austin’s music, art and film festival, South by Southwest festival organizers confirmed plans to return as a hybrid festival in 2022 in time with an announcement for another round of featured speakers.


SXSW 2022 is scheduled to run from March 11-20 this year, in-person with online viewing and participation options. Organizers confirmed to Austonia that they are still planning on holding the in-person parts of the festival as scheduled. They added that with the rapidly changing COVID-19 landscape, they will continue to work with the city of Austin and Austin Public Health.

If things go off as planned, this will be the first time an in-person SXSW has been held since 2019 after 2021's festival was held virtually and 2020 was canceled altogether.

With a little less than two months until the festival begins, SXSW announced another round of featured speakers on Tuesday. The array of guests spans from major entrepreneurs like Michael Dell, health professionals like Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jason Isbell.

What will be required to attend?

The festival will require certain COVID-19 precautions to attend the festival in person. (SXSW)

Just like last year’s Austin City Limits Festival, either proof of a completed primary set of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative COVID test will be required to collect credentials. The festival will host an adjacent testing clinic at cost to credentialed attendees.

Masks will be required in some spaces, like conference room sessions and exhibitions, and strongly encouraged everywhere else.

Who is local on the newest drop?

Austin's own Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears performed virtually during SXSW 2021. (SXSW)

The newest round of festival speakers includes a host of local names in addition to Dell. CLEAN Cause Yerba Mate founder Wes Hurt, University of Texas at Austin psychology professor Kathryn Paige Harden, ICON co-founder and CEO Jason Ballard, Breyer Capital CEO Jim Breyer, documentary filmmaker Skye Wallin, and Colossal Biosciences founder and CEO Ben Lamm.

“We’re excited to announce an incredible group of experts and innovators across the technology, healthcare, and entertainment industries, who are actively shaping the world we live in,” Chief Programming Officer Hugh Forrest said. “Entrepreneurial luminaries such as Michael Dell, and industry disruptors like Margrethe Vestager only add to our already robust lineup of creative visionaries working to build a better future.”

More additions are slated to be released next week, as well as the full Film Festival lineup on Feb. 2. Rates on SXSW badges increase after Jan. 27. View the lineup so far here.

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