Looking Ahead to 2022, SXSW Is Drawing on the Lessons of the Pandemic Years

The Austin, Texas-based festival is planning on a hybrid event next year and doubling down on VR

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Venues, restaurants and event centers around Austin, Texas, endured an unheard of and eerily silent Spring Break in 2020.

Then, when South by Southwest (SXSW) announced on October 6, 2020 that it would be all virtual in 2021, hopes of a reprieve from Covid-19’s devastating effects on the hospitality industry were soundly dashed—and some of the venues central to the festival’s yearly takeover of the city weren’t able to weather the silence.

SXSW laid off around a third of its 175-person staff days after the 2020 festival was canceled.



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