America’s world famous festival, South by Southwest (SXSW), will be coming to London next year.

SXSW has been running in Austin, Texas, for nearly 40 years and attracts some 300,000 people to the festival. London is unlikely to garner such attendance numbers in its first year but could well grow into one of London’s larger annual festivals over time. The risk could be that it crowds out other similar concept events in London all year round as the organisers choose to join the SXSW brand.

In addition to talks, music, and innovations in tech, gaming and screen, SXSW London will introduce visual arts, design and fashion programming, with exhibitions and interactive and immersive experiences in public spaces across dozens of venues, galleries, clubs and other spaces in Shoreditch.

SXSW is more a cluster of events bundled together — with different “streams” to choose from depending on your interests. It’s also not the cheapest festival to attend – with SXSW passes costing from $1,500 to $2,000 for all events.

The UK prices haven’t been confirmed yet, but to justify the cost of the tickets, people need to be willing to commit a sizeable chunk of time to attending as many events as possible.

Although SXSW London will be focused on the creative and tech sectors, they say they will work to ensure there are opportunities for the local community, students and families who may have a specific interest in creativity and tech to get involved.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “When I was part of SXSW in Austin in 2018, I saw first-hand the electric atmosphere of innovation SXSW creates and I can’t wait to be part of it again. This is a historic opportunity for London to once again bring the world’s most exciting talent together as part of our mission to build a better and more prosperous London for everyone.”

SXSW London will run for a week in June 2025.

More details about the event programme will be announced in the coming months. Badges will go on sale in October 2024, and you can pre-register for tickets here.


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One comment
  1. MilesT says:

    This has a risk of crowding out similar smaller free-to-access/lower cost tech and cultural events, in effect privatising them and pricing them beyond true tech and cultural creatives.

    And practically I would expect some would need to overspill eastwards from Shoreditch (to Here East, and the IXL, and similar venues around Liverpool Street)

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