Photo Credit Aaron Rogosin SXSW
March 4, 2020

What We Will Miss Most About SXSW 2020

For the first time in 34 years, SXSW will not music, tech and pop culture enthusiasts to Austin in 2020. While we are happy that precautions are being taken to keep Austin safe, we were really looking forward to excellent speakers and exhibits this year, especially in the area of sustainability. Check out a few of the things we were most excited to see – and that we hope will come back for SXSW 2021!

Keynotes & Speakers
Year after year, SXSW boasts a star-studded list of keynote speakers. Newly-added keynote speakers include Janelle Monáe; Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross; music multi-hyphenate St. Vincent (a.k.a. Annie Clark) in conversation with Sleater-Kinney founding member Carrie Brownstein about their new film collab, The Nowhere Inn; and SM Entertainment founder Soo-Man Lee in conversation with Capitol Music Group COO Michelle Jubelirer. In addition, mega film director Michael Moore has been added to a previously announced conversation with Pink Floyd founding member Roger Waters.

The featured speakers list now includes Ozzy Osbourne, Stephen Colbert interviewed by Judd Apatow, electronic musician and composer Holly Herndon, music journalist Cherie Hu, Beastie Boys Story film director Spike Jonze, and Margo Price. View the full list here.

SXSW 2020 has announced dozens of musicians from the local and international music scene who will be performing this year.

Previously announced 2020 SXSW performers include Wire, Shopping, Soccer Mommy, Great Grandpa, Caroline Rose, Soul Asylum, Beach Slang, Frances Quinlan, Tim Burgess, Algiers, Anna Burch, Automatic, Basia Bulat, The Brother Brothers, Control Top, Kristin Hersh, Stealing Sheep, Porridge Radio, Lido Pimienta, Vanishing Twin, The Posies and more.

The music portion of SXSW runs March 16-22. A full list can be found here.

Climate & Social Action Sessions
SXSW’s Climate & Social Action Track of sessions highlight innovations that create a positive social impact and contribute to environmentally sustainable systems. A few of the sessions we’re excited for:

  • Getting to NetZero: The Role of Science & Tech: Explore how science and technology are accelerating innovation to tackle the dual challenge of meeting the world’s demand for more energy, while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions. What does the future of energy look like, and what can we learn from our evolution along the energy spectrum, from traditional sources (hydrocarbons) to alternatives (wind and solar), to futuristic innovation (AI, NASA technology).
  • Farmers: On The Front Line of a Changing Planet: This session will challenge the agricultural status quo to highlight novel technology that has the potential to transform the food system. Synthetic nitrogen fertilizer is responsible for half of the world’s food supply, but it harms waterways, pollutes air, and contributes to 6% of global GHG emissions. Simply using less synthetic nitrogen will result in lower crop yields, an unacceptable trade-off with a growing population.
  • Midnight Sun: Trends & Opportunities in Energy Storage: Advances in energy storage will soon make renewable energies the cheapest, most reliable, cleanest, and fastest growing sources of energy, leaving fossil fuels behind for good. Come learn the past, present, and future of energy storage in this entertaining and informative session.
  • Why Plants are the Next Generation of Plastic: Plastics’ durability-once its greatest asset-is now its greatest curse. Scientists are quietly making tech breakthroughs that can halt our plastic problems at the source. Using plants and bacteria, materials that look and perform like plastic but break down like plants, are finally becoming commercialized.
  • Youth Rising: Girls Will Solve the Climate Crisis: Young women are revolutionizing the climate movement and leading the youth on all continents in their fight to get the adults in power to act. Why their leadership is critical to solving the climate crisis and what it will take to sustain and build the movement.

Special Events

SXSW Film Fest Episodic Pitch-A-Thon Presented by SeriesFest
For the first time at SXSW Film, independent content creators will have the opportunity to participate in an Episodic Pitch-A-Thon presented by SeriesFest in partnership with SXSW. The Pitch-A-Thon is an exclusive live episodic pitch session with top television, new media, and digital execs in hopes of moving their projects — and careers — forward.

SXSW 2020 filmmakers will be among six slots in a live event where each Creator/Creative Team will have five minutes to pitch in front of an audience. An industry panel of experts seated on stage will then have seven minutes to give their feedback to each project. This event will be approximately 90 minutes.

ISM Hexadome
ISM Hexadome, a 360° immersive installation demonstrating the empowerment of shared direct experience through sound, art, film and technology, comes to SXSW 2020. Comprised of 6 giant cinema screens, Epson advanced laser projection and 52 channels of spatial sound featuring exclusive commissioned audio/visual collaborative works by artists, as well as a first-of-its-kind immersive cinematic experience by Paramount Pictures and Little Cinema for the highly-anticipated release of Antoine Fuqua’s action thriller Infinite, starring Mark Wahlberg and in theatres Summer 2020.