South by Southwest (SXSW) the music, film and interactive festival held every March in Austin, Texas, has announced that the official launch will take place on Monday 3rd August 2015, for the 2016 festival.
With the launch announcement also comes some new information about next years show and changes being implemented. Due to the popularity of the SXSW Gaming event this year, which saw over 56,000 visitors attend, the expo, awards ceremony, panels and everything else will be moving to the Austin Convention Centre so the entire event can be held under one roof, rather than the three buildings it previously occupied.
In addition to the move the gaming expo will now overlap with music and film. Gaming will be on 17th – 19th March, while Film will be on 11th – 19th March and Music will be on 15th – 20th March 2016, creating a bigger more cohesive festival. There will also be a great emphasis on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) due to the demand and growth of the technology over the last few years. And by March 2016, the HTC Vive will have been launched, probably the Oculus Rift, and maybe even the Project Morpheus head-mounted displays (HMD).
SXSW is also accepting applications for those wishing to create sessions, before the official launch. These include the Geek Stage which consists of appearances, announcements, game demonstrations, giveaways, signings and more. The Panel Picker which is dedicated to the “tricks of the trade” for industry and/or aspiring industry professionals, and the Award Ceremony.
VRFocus will continue to report the latest announcements from SXSW in the run up to the 2016 event.
Update: VRFocus previously wrote that the SXSW Gaming event was 11th – 15th March 2016, this has been rectified to 17th – 19th March 2016.