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SXSW Sydney opens up to the public, selling wristbands for the Music and Games festivals

It just got more affordable to get amongst this epic event when it takes over Sydney in October

Alannah Le Cross
Written by
Alannah Le Cross

We’ve been all ears ever since we found out that South By Southwest (SXSW) is taking its first ever rendezvous outside of Texas in its 37-year-long history, transplanting to Sydney in October 2023. The legendary futuristic event is overflowing with cutting-edge festivals and conferences covering music, gaming, technology, film and television, education, business and culture. And things just got even more exciting, with the announcement that SXSW is opening up to the public with the expansion of the Music Festival and Games Festival, with wristbands going on sale to the general public this week.

How much are wristbands for SXSW Sydney?

These wristbands are on sale from Friday, August 25, with early bird prices starting from $165 for the Games Festival and $280 for the Music Festival. Generally, you need to purchase a ‘badge’ to gain access to SXSW events, which are currently going for third-release prices of $1,195 for Industry Badges and $1,695 for Platinum Badges. 

What do SXSW Sydney wristbands give me access to?

A Games Festival wristband will give you access to six days of programming where you can be among the first to discover the next seminal game with live play, hands-on demos, product launches, performances and more. The difference between badges and wristbands? Platinum and Games badges include priority access to all aspects of the Games Festival, as well as conference keynotes and panels, industry showcases, workshops, networking events, and other things that you can’t get into with a wristband. See further info here.

A Music Festival wristband gives you access to over 300 performances from the best emerging and established Australian and international artists, spread across 25 venues over four days. Wristbands grant access to the Music Festival and the 300 performances that make it up. Meanwhile, Platinum and Music badges include priority access to all aspects of the Music Festival mentioned above, as well as conference keynotes and panels, industry showcases, workshops, parties, launches, networking events and more. Find out more here

What else can I expect from the Music Festival and Games Festival?

From October 18-21, the Music Festival will take over beloved music venues like the Lansdowne and the Lord Gladstone, the secret Phoenix Central Park, pubs like the Hollywood Hotel and the Chippo Hotel, as well as street parties and surprise performances. SXSW also just added more artists to the line-up with local punks These New South Whales, buzzy NZ hip-hop star Will Swinton, and inventive Indonesian jazz trio Batavia Collective joining local and international stars like TikTok’s favourite hip-hop duo Flyana Boss, rising Canadian star Ekkstacy, UK indie act Connie Constance, Japanese punk quartet Otoboke Beaver, Korean hip-hop sibling duo Lil Cherry & Goldbuuda, Nashville-based Aussie country music star Alex Mather and many more.

The Games Festival will be anchored at the city’s new gamers paradise, Fortress Sydney, in addition to Eddy Multi Space and the Mercure Sydney from October 18-22. It will include a Games Festival Showcase featuring over 150 indie game developers from around the world, a Tabletop Expo for lovers of traditional board games and RPGs, a Games Awards event, plus loads more. 

You may not recognise every name on the bill, but SXSW is a festival where you’re pretty much guaranteed to discover the next big thing. As Colin Daniels, managing director of SXSW Sydney, said at an earlier announcement: “[You might not see BTS], but you’ll see the next BTS at SXSW.”

SXSW Sydney opens October 15-22, 2023. Find out more at


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