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Coachella CEO Paul Tollett Joins SXSW Sydney Lineup – Billboard

Written by on 26/07/2023

SYDNEY, Australia — Coachella CEO Paul Tollett, futurist Amy Webb and Slack co-founder Cal Henderson are among the guest speakers joining the inaugural SXSW Sydney, a week-long industry powwow, party, and seat of learning, set for this October.

Joining the 700-strong speakers lineup is fashion icon Tan France, alongside previously announced guests including Chris Lee, a.k.a. Sung-su Lee, chief A&R officer and former CEO of SM Entertainment, the giant K-pop agency; Per Sundin, the Swedish CEO of Pophouse Entertainment; multiple world surfing champion Layne Beachley and many more.

Tollett will participate in a “fireside chat,” says Claire Collins, head of music for SXSW. “We’re going to learn about his history, the history of the event and how it became the most influential event in the world, the challenges and the future,” Collins tells Billboard. “It’ll be an unmissable session.”

Organizers received more than 2,500 applications for those coveted performer spots, explains Collins, who pays tribute to the “enormous job” by the programming team, and singles out music festival programming director of Reginald Harris.

Meanwhile, the SXSW music team today announces 100 new artists to its lineup, a list that includes raging-hot U.S. viral hip-hop act Flyana Boss, which has accumulated more than 1 million followers on TikTok; rising homegrown acts South Summit, Chanel Loren and Gut Health; South Korea’s ADOY and Lil Cherry; Indonesia’s Isyana Sarasvati and Malaysia’s Lunadira.

The final list of performances, which continues to take shape, will number more than 400.

Just three months out from showtime, SXSW Sydney 2023 will spotlight a range of fresh music talent coming out of the Asia-Pacific region, organizers say, and offer myriad opportunities to connect with bright sparks across the region from within the music industry, and across the tech, games and screen industries. 

“Never before have this many entrepreneurs, artists, futurists, innovators and titans of every industry all been in Sydney at one time,” comments Colin Daniels, managing director of SXSW Sydney, in a statement. “As we pull together over 1,000 events and experiences, our team are still searching for a poster big enough to reveal it all.”

Also, more than 300 panels and sessions will explore hot-button topics from AI fluency, “Big Tech” transparency, the future of lab-grown meat, ethical living with robots, First Nations knowledge in design, and more.

Born and bred in Austin, Texas, the South by Southwest conference and festival makes the leap from the United States for the first time with its Australia leg, set for seven days and nights from Oct. 15-22, 2023. 

SXSW Sydney is a collaboration with Australian promoter TEG and the New South Wales (NSW) government along with its tourism agency, Destination NSW.

In April 2021, it was announced that SXSW had signed a “lifeline” deal with P-MRC, a joint venture between Penske Media Corporation and MRC, making P-MRC a stakeholder and long-term partner with the Austin festival. P-MRC is the parent company of Billboard.

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