In its march toward creating what organizers have been calling a more "Unified" experience, South by Southwest 2017 has changed the pricing structure for badges.
In past years, pricing has varied for SXSW Interactive, Film and Music, but for 2017, prices will be the same, starting at $825 for early-bird pricing through Sept. 9. Platinum badge prices, meanwhile, are dropping from $1,345 to $1,150. Registration for SXSW 2017 opened on Monday.
While the price of an Interactive badge has not changed from 2016, it represents a significant jump in price for SXSW Film and Music badges, from $525 and $650 respectively to $825. For walk-up registration, the price will nearly double for Film badges, from $695 to $1,325 and from $895 to $1,325 for Music.
The walk-up price for a Platinum badge drops from $1,745 to $1,650 for 2017. The walk-up rate for SXSW Interactive goes from $1,295 to $1,325 for 2017.
SXSW director Hugh Forrest said in April there would be no official merger of Film, Interactive and Music for 2017, He said in an email on Monday that such a merger will eventually happen, at least in terms of badges and pricing.
"Eventually, we envision one SXSW event, and one badge that allows maximum flexibility for all, with access to even more compelling and diverse programming, and choices that allow attendees to shape their own customized SXSW experience," Forrest said.
The conference is also introducing the concept of "Secondary" and "Select" access, which is explained in a lengthy chart on the SXSW Attend page. Is means what events each badgeholder has access to, especially the so-called "Convergence" panels and speakers that straddle the line between tech, filmmaking, music and other industries.
Here's the full interview with Forrest:
512tech: What’s the thinking behind making Film, Music and Interactive all carry the same badge price? I’ve heard talk of a more “Unified” SXSW 2017. Is this part of that strategy?
Hugh Forrest: This year we’ve become one unified SXSW Conference, while still embracing the unique communities we’ve cultivated over the years. Eventually, we envision one SXSW event, and one badge that allows maximum flexibility for all, with access to even more compelling and diverse programming, and choices that allow attendees to shape their own customized SXSW experience
This seems like a significant jump in early bird price for Film and Music. What are those attendees getting for that price they weren’t getting before?
As the lines between a growing number of industry segments blur, we’ve come to understand the future of Film and Music lies in collaboration and convergence across a myriad of industries. With expanded access across all of our events, the increase in the badge price is now on par with other industry events. The value you get at SXSW, however, is exponentially greater because of that overlap, and is a solid investment in your career.
Are previous attendees getting discounts to counteract that price jump? If so, is there a standard discount rate across Film and Music?
We offered discount codes to registrants who paid to attend our Film and/or Music events within the past several years because we wanted to encourage past paid Film and/or Music registrants to revisit and experience the changes we’ve made with expanded programming access for 2017. The Interactive badge price remains the same from last year.
Platinum pricing looks to have dropped significantly. Reason for that? Is the fest trying to get more Film, Interactive and Music attendees to consider going Platinum?
We’ve lowered the price of Platinum in order to make it more affordable so it’s the best value for access to all events.
What’s the difference between Secondary Access and Select Access?
We’ll have two lines at the entrance to 2017 events. The primary line will enter first, and the secondary line enters second, subject to capacity. Your badge type determines which line you’re in:
- The Platinum badge gets primary access to all SXSW programming and events.
- The Interactive badge gets primary access to Interactive and Convergence events and secondary access to Film and Music.
- The Film badge gets primary access to Film and Convergence events and secondary access to Interactive and Music.
- The Music badge gets primary access to Music and Convergence events and secondary access to Interactive and Film.
- Select Access is the ability to access specific events outside or your badge type.
Forrest said SXSW made a video to explain all this. You can view it below: