SXSW Is Back!

The annual music, film, tech and education conference was canceled in 2020 and went digital in 2021. This year, there’s a sense of cautious optimism in the air. The music festival will be smaller, and conference registrations are down by 25%, according to SXSW organizers.

Seasoned SX veterans and savvy locals may not encounter the usual number of day parties and events from years prior. However, there’s still plenty to do and see - and eat! Eater compiled a day-by-day list of the best places to score some free food and drinks, from today through the end of next week.  

Even at a smaller scale, the SX schedule can be a little overwhelming. Here's a quick round up of our fave things to do and see.

Innovation Awards

Every year, the SXSW Innovation Awards celebrates the best tech projects from innovators and creators worldwide. The annual awards program began in 1997 as the Texas Interactive Media Achievement Awards, was renamed the SXSW Web Awards in 1998, then evolved into the current iteration as the Innovation Awards. Past alumni include Hulu, Airbnb, Getty Images, Groupon, Soundcloud, and Pinterest.

Finalists will demonstrate their projects for SXSW attendees and the Innovation Awards Finalist Judges at the SXSW Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase. Our very own Chief Marketing Officer - and all-around awesome dude - John Rodriguez will be on the judges panel! Learn more about the awards and check out the finalists here.

Films To See

The SXSW Film Festival is one of the first major U.S. festivals to get back to a mostly in-person event since 2020. The lineup is smaller than in pre-pandemic years, but it includes some highly-anticipated new works from documentaries to horror films to episodic television. Every film will have an in-person premiere, and most films will also be available online.

The festival will run from March 11-20, and we encourage you to check out the entire 2022 Film Lineup across all screening categories. Here are a few of our picks...

Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks
This is a two-part documentary with the original Kids - who made their debut 40 years ago - talk about everything from their early days to their upcoming Amazon Kids in the Hall reboot. Get all the details on their official SX page.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
It's Nic Cage, y'all! And he's playing a fictional version of himself getting ready to quit Hollywood, when he gets an offer of $1 million to show up at a billionaire’s birthday party. Enter the CIA and a lot of Nic-Cage-y meta fun. Here's the trailer:

SXSW Midnighters
The Midnighters line up is a film nerd fave year after year, which showcases the horror/thriller genre. This year, we’d love nothing more than to watch them all, especially “X”. It follows a group of wannabe adult filmmakers in the late ‘70s, and promises to be creepy, grindhouse fun. Check out the entire Midnighters line up here.

Can't Miss Music

The SXSW Music Festival is hands down a fave around here. As we mentioned, the line up is leaner than in previous years, and the huge day parties, like Fader Fort, are noticeably absent. However, there's still A LOT to see see and hear.

Check out the SXSW 2022 full schedule here, and some of our must see shows below.

Qwoli
If you're into: indie rock, art punk, synth-pop and noise rock.

Phebe Starr
Dreamy, Australian indie pop

Pussy Riot
Feminist protest punk rock

See Pussy Riot and a host of other great bands at Flood Fest 2022. More info and RSVP here.