Sydney has become the first-ever host city of an annual South by Southwest (SXSW) event outside of Austin, Texas.
Taking place from 15-22 October, SXSW Sydney is a city-wide music festival, futurist think tank, a showcase of the latest games, alongside film and TV world premieres and next-gen technology expo.
This one-of-a-kind event is being held at various locations in Sydney’s CBD, including Chippendale, Ultimo, Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour and Haymarket, activating a large number of venues throughout the city and supporting the entire ecosystem of Sydney’s visitor and night-time economy.
Destination NSW highlighted the "new" in NSW via activations at NSW House and the NSW Hub during the inaugural Asia Pacific edition of the iconic creative industries festival.
Presented in partnership with the Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade, NSW House and NSW Hub showcased to SXSW Sydney attendees the unique experiences that NSW has to offer.
NSW Hub is hosting one-on-one, informative discussions about studying, working, investing and living in NSW from 18-21 October, while NSW House was open from 17-20 October.
Destination NSW CEO Steve Cox spoke at the official launch of NSW House, located at Collider in the Tech Central Precinct. The event included a Welcome to Country by Uncle Allen Madden and a performance by Jack River.
NSW House featured exhibits including a DreamMachine that read thoughts, interactive robots, quantum selfies, thought-provoking panels and samplings of the best of NSW produce.
Destination NSW hosted a panel discussion at NSW House on 19 October, focused on 'The Sydney Story: How creative vision is reshaping a global city.'
Moderated by SBS World News presenter Janice Petersen, panellists included Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Stephen Page AO, The Chippendale Collective's Beau Nielsen, Merivale’s Justin Hemmes and Hip-Hop artist and Western Sydney advocate L-FRESH the Lion.
They discussed Greater Sydney’s evolution as a global hub for culture, art and innovation.
Hemmes said he had never been more excited about the hospitality industry in Sydney, with Merivale venues thriving throughout the city.
"Pre-COVID-19 our venues never operated seven days and nights, but there is a wonderful momentum now," he said.
"People have a skip in their stride and they want to try new things. The talent we have in this city and the excitement is a winning combination."
L-FRESH the Lion said that from a musician's perspective it had been a tough period for the music industry. He advocated for a grassroots approach to both infrastructure and cultural initiatives in Greater Sydney.
"Needs for each community are different and there are great outcomes when change happens organically and communities help drive the process," he said.
Neilsen agreed that making cultural infrastructure inclusive was vital to its success.
"If you invest in something that doesn’t have heart or respond to a deeper need in the community, people won’t come," she said.
Page highlighted the power of performance and storytelling in elevating a city's cultural offering and global appeal.
"The globe is wanting spirit and First Nations people have knowledge that can shape and give a sense of identity to this city," he said.
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