SXSW announces speakers for 2021 virtual edition (Willie Nelson, more)
SXSW was one of the first 2020 festivals to get canceled due to the pandemic, with the plug pulled just a week before the music portion was set to start. The 2021 edition is virtual: they're calling it SXSW Online, and it's scheduled for March 16–20 (there had been tentative plans for in-person events but those are not happening now). The "digital experience" will include keynotes and sessions, film screenings, music showcases, networking, and exhibitions.
While music showcases and film screenings haven't been announced, SXSW has put together an impressive lineup of speakers, including notable Austin resident Willie Nelson who will give this year's keynote address. “No individual has had the cultural impact on, or been more synonymous with the creative vibrancy of Austin than Willie Nelson, and we are incredibly honored to have him as a SXSW Online 2021 Keynote,” said Hugh Forrest, SXSW's Chief Programming Officer, in a statement.
Other speakers include Samantha Bee, Virgin Records founder Sir Richard Branson, filmmaker Barry Jenkins, composer Nicholas Britell, Dave Burd (aka Lil Dicky), Chiquis, Laurieann Gibson, Taraji P. Henson, Jim McKelvey, Michael Lewis, Matthew McConaughey, Alexi Pappas, Queen Latifah, LL COOL J, Brian Grazer, Cynthia Erivo, The Chainsmokers, and more.