SXSW Taps Willie Nelson As 2021 Keynote Speaker For Virtual Festival


Willie Nelson will serve as the keynote speaker for the South By Southwest (SXSW) Festival’s 2021 virtual event. Nelson’s announcement as keynote arrives with an initial wave of over 50 featured speakers and more than 230 conferences set to take place online March 16 – 20.

SXSW’s virtual event will also see “music festival showcases, film festival screenings, world-class networking and the unexpected discoveries that are always a part of SXSW,” as per a press release, along with Willie’s keynote speech.

SXSW chief programming officer Hugh Forrest spoke about Nelson’s impact on Austin, where SXSW is usually held, and more. Read his words below:

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. In addition to dozens of incredible Featured Speakers, today’s announcement also includes more than 200 sessions curated from our global community via PanelPicker, and is a key part of the premium content you can expect from SXSW Online 2021.

Also set to speak at the 2021 SXSW virtual festival are Samantha Bee, Sir Richard Branson, Nicholas Britell, Dave Burd (aka Lil Dicky), The Chainsmokers, Chiquis, Laurieann Gibson, Taraji P. Henson, Barry Jenkins, Jim McKelvey, Michael Lewis, Matthew McConaughey, Alexi Pappas, Queen Latifah, LL COOL J, Brian Grazer, Cynthia Erivo and more.

Head here for more info on programming formats and themes for the 2021 SXSW virtual event.

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