RIP SXSW Interactive?
In an opening presentation on Friday, South by Southwest chief programming officer Hugh Forrest intimated that 2017 might be the last year that we see clear distinctions between the long-running SXSW Interactive, Film and Music events.
“The old silos of Interactive / Film / Music no longer exist,” Forrest said in a slide as part of his opening remarks.
“It is a brave new world. It’s different than how we’ve done it for 30 years,” he said.
Ongoing convergence between the three main conference legs means that after 2017, they might no longer exist separately.
A new badge system for 2017 is allowing attendees of the three formerly disparate events to explore more content in other areas, Forrest said in remarks that preceded a presentation by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker.
At its heart, Forrest said, SXSW remains a creativity conference through its 24 tracks of programming.
“SXSW helps very creative people achieve their goals,” Forrest said.
Among other new changes this year: a chatbot named “Abby” in the SXSW Go mobile app, more focus on journalism and experiential storytelling, more content in between Interactive and Music (March 15-16), and the spinoff of SXSW Gaming into its own paid event from March 16-18. There’s also a new “Zen Lounge” on the 5th floor of the JW Marriott hotel for attendees to take a breather, a nap or a chill pill of choice.
What else is new this year? You can check out our preview story from earlier this week.
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