SXSW entertainment and tech festival to expand to London in 2025

The interior of a convention center decorated with vibrant banners. Dozens of attendees stand around and use and escalator
The Austin Convention Center at South by Southwest 2024 on March 8 in Austin, Texas. (SXSW Conference & Festivals / Getty Images)

For the record:
3:47 p.m. May 8, 2024: An earlier version of this article said Penske Media Corp. bought a stake in SXSW in 2022. It was 2021.

Entertainment and tech festival South By Southwest will be expanding across the pond to London in June 2025, growing the influential brand's reach internationally.

The new festival will be centered around Shoreditch, an artsy area in East London known for its nightlife, street art and creative spaces.

In addition to the typical music, tech, entertainment and gaming panels expected of SXSW, the London festival will also include discussions about visual arts, design and fashion, according to the SXSW London website.

"When I was part of SXSW in Austin in 2018, I saw first-hand the electric atmosphere of innovation SXSW creates," London mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement on the site. "This is a historic opportunity for London to once again brings the world's most exciting talent together."

The expansion gives SXSW a presence in Europe. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, the eclectic festival was originally focused on music, but later broadened to include film and interactive media and entertainment, as well as discussions with entrepreneurs, tech leaders, politicians and media figures.

SXSW's expansion comes as some film festivals have struggled. Last month, the nonprofit Sundance Institute, which runs the Sundance Film Festival, said it would start looking for another location for the 2027 festival, which has long called Park City, Utah, home.

The market for film festivals — and the kinds of adult-oriented arthouse movies and documentaries they promote — has become challenged as audiences have more options for home entertainment. Festivals including SXSW took a major hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, when in-person events were canceled.

SXSW sold a 50% stake in 2021 to a venture run by Penske Media Corp., the owner of entertainment publications including Billboard, Variety and Rolling Stone.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.