SXSW Sydney 2023: Full event schedule revealed

Here's what you need to know about SXSW Sydney 2023.
sxsw sydney games festival 2023

The team behind SXSW Sydney 2023 have officially pulled back the curtain, revealing the full array of events, panels, screenings, and showcases for its inaugural week-long celebration of media, technology, entertainment, and innovation.

Between major film screenings and talks about hot-button topics like AI and Web3, this year’s show will feature a hefty spotlight on video games, with a range of celebratory events, live shows, and networking opportunities for industry professionals.

Read: SXSW Sydney Games Festival 2023: Everything you need to know

Here’s a rundown of the biggest video game events taking place at SXSW Sydney 2023, as picked by Luke Lancaster, Head of SXSW Sydney Gaming Programming:

  • The Games Festival Opening Night Party (17 October at 7:00 pm AEDT) – A celebration to kick-off the games portion of SXSW, featuring musical performances of songs from Australian-made games, a debut song from “one of Australia’s best new artists” and some international guests.
  • The Encore Games Showcase – Throughout SXSW, games shortlisted in the SXSW Sydney Games Awards will be playable by attendees of the show.
  • Blood on the Clocktower Live (19 October at 1:00 pm AEDT) – This live show turns the Blood on the Clocktower tabletop game into an interactive social deduction and comedy experience for an entire audience.
  • Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) – IEM Sydney returns as part of SXSW Sydney 2023, with the show taking place across 20-22 October. It’ll culminate in a grand final on the final day of SXSW Sydney.

In addition to these highlights, those attending SXSW will also be able to listen in to intriguing panels – like one about death and dying in video games, another about making weird games, one about video game archiving, and another one about video games as art. Local Australian game developers will also team up to talk about games and audio, Riot Games is hosting a panel on the challenges of making League of Legends, and Pentiment art director Hannah Kennedy will also host a talk on the art direction of the beloved historical mystery game.

Giveaway: Win a SXSW Sydney Games Festival double pass

Throughout the show, audiences will also be able to play through upcoming games on the showfloor, like Bilkin’s Folly and A Tiny Sticker Tale, and even dive into an imported version of the BitSummit Showcase, which highlights the world of international indie developers (18 October between 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm AEDT).

Mid-week, Amy and Mike Morhaime, co-founders of Dreamhaven and pioneers at Blizzard Entertainment, are hosting a major keynote that should be worth checking out. It takes place on 20 October 2023 at 1:00 pm AEDT.

Immortality director Sam Barlow is also hosting a full playthrough of his award-winning game with live commentary – and that should be well worth checking out. It kicks off at 3:00 pm AEDT on 18 October 2023. Barlow will speak again at 2:00 pm AEDT on 19 October 2023, about pioneering new forms of video game storytelling.

Towards the end of the week, SXSW Sydney attendees can also look forward to the inaugural Games Festival Awards (7:00 pm AEDT on 20 October 2023) which will celebrate the best of the Australian and international games of the show.

You can now view the full schedule for SXSW Sydney 2023 on the SXSW website.

SXSW Sydney 2023 takes place from 15-22 October 2023 at the ICC, and at locations around Haymarket, Darling Harbour, Ultimo, and Chippendale in Sydney, Australia.

Win 1 of 5 double pass SXSW Sydney Games

We have five (5) double pass SXSW Sydney Games Wristbands to give away, each valued at AUD $390 RRP per double pass (AUD $195 each), with a total prize pool of AUD $1950.

To be in the running for our double pass giveaway, simply fill in the form below with your contact details, and tell us what part of the SXSW Sydney Games Festival you’re looking forward to the most.

Win: Double Pass to SXSW Sydney

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.