Your ultimate guide to SXSW 2024

Let’s party, Austin.

People walking into the convention center under a SXSW sign

Let’s do this, Austin.

Photo by ATXtoday

Table of Contents

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of 345,000 people packing their bags for one of Austin’s biggest annual events: SXSW.

The festival takes place from Friday, March 8 to Sunday, March 17 this year. Ahead of the celebrity spotting, live concerts, and jaw-dropping tech displays, we’re breaking down everything you need to know before you go, whether you have a badge or not.

Psst — check out our guide to every local musician playing at the fest this year, and stay tuned for an upcoming guide on how to do SXSW for free.


First, a quick refresh. SXSW is not actually one festival — it’s several.

The event includes hundreds of conference sessions in addition to dozens of interactive exhibitions and comedy, film, and music festivals.

The amount of people who come to Austin for SXSW is usually in the hundreds of thousands, with more than 345,000 attendees in 2023. The economic impact on the city is substantial, ranging between $218 million-$380 million per year over the last decade.

A shot of the SXSW stage from the crowd.

SXSW is jam-packed with conferences, keynotes, and panels featuring the world’s top change-makers.

Photo by ATXtoday


A bulk of the programming at SXSW is made up of panels, speakers, and keynotes categorized into 24 tracks based on subject area. Here are 15 must-see sessions we’re keeping our eye on.

Note: Access to programming depends on the type of badge you have — check “badges” under each event to see if your pass allows entry.

See the full conference schedule.

A woman stands in the middle of the street — with Stubb's and I-25 in the background" at dusk.

Documentary “An Army of Women” is set in Austin.

Still credit of Julie Lunde Lillesæter

Film & TV

With dozens of star-studded world premieres, there’s more than enough to see at this year’s SXSW Film & TV Festival. Here are 10 we recommend:

Film premieres

  • “An Army of Women” | Friday, March 8 | This documentary follows three Austin women as they rebuild their lives after sexual assault.
  • “Babes” | Saturday, March 9 | Starring: Ilana Glazer, Michelle Buteau | Pregnant Eden leans on her best friend to help her through her pregnancy in this family comedy.
  • “Monkey Man” | Monday, March 11 | Starring: Dev Patel, Sharlto Copley | The legend of Hanuman comes to life in this depiction of a man in a fight club who infiltrates his city’s elite class.
  • “The Fall Guy” | Tuesday, March 12 | Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emily Blunt | Colt, a former stuntman, is drawn back into the action when his ex, a director of a big-budget movie, goes missing.
  • “Y2K” | Saturday, March 9 | Starring: Rachel Zegler, Jaeden Martell | This disaster comedy takes place on the last night of 1999.

Television premieres

See the full SXSW Film & TV Festival lineup.

A shot of a crowd as seen from above, with a stage

During SXSW, the whole city turns into a stage.

Photo by ATXtoday


It’s not a festival without some live music. Read our roundup of all the local artists performing and take note of these five acts we’re excited for:

See the full SXSW Music lineup.


The lineup for this year’s SXSW Comedy Festival has not yet been announced. However, last year headliners included Anna Kendrick, Chelsea Handler, Eric André, Patton Oswalt, and Tim Robinson.

Interactives and exhibitions

Everybody knows some of the best parts of SXSW can be exploring interactive pop-ups. Check out these five:

Badge breakdown

Badges for SXSW range between depending on level of access:

  • Platinum: $1,990
  • Interactive: $1,595
  • Film & TV: $1,495
  • Music: $945

That said, volunteers at the festival can receive a free badge. To earn a badge, you’ll need to work between 24 and 56 hours, depending on the badge you’re aiming for, and be at least 18 years old. See the full requirements.