Willie Nelson Announced As Keynote For SXSW Online

MusicRow.com Lorie Hollabaugh

Willie Nelson will be the Keynote speaker for this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festival Online on March 16-20.  SXSW Online has also unveiled an initial wave of 50 Featured Speakers and over 230 sessions during the conference, which will offer a premiere digital experience that includes showcases, Film Festival screenings, networking, and the unexpected discoveries that are always a part of SXSW.

“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,” said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer. “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.”

Newly announced speakers for this year’s conference include host of TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Samantha Bee; Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Streamlytics, Angela Benton; entrepreneur and Virgin Group Founder, Sir Richard Branson; Latin singer/songwriter, businesswoman, author and TV star, Chiquis; cannabis rights activist, Steve DeAngelo; Co-founder and CEO of Relativity Space, Tim Ellis; Emmy-nominated creative director and choreographer, Laurieann Gibson; Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actor, writer and producer, Taraji P. Henson, in conversation with SELF magazine Editor-in-Chief, Carolyn Kylstra; leadership strategist and author, Ann Hiatt; design entrepreneur and founder of the creative agency, LAYER, Benjamin Hubert; writer and publisher of the Water & Music newsletter, Cherie Hu; New York Times bestselling author, Michael Lewis; Academy Award-winning actor, author, producer, director and philanthropist, Matthew McConaughey; in conversation with Major League Soccer commissioner, Don Garber; Square Co-founder, Jim McKelvey; actor, filmmaker, author, and Olympic athlete, Alexi Pappas; and many more.

SXSW Online programming sessions are organized by themes (A New Urgency, Challenging Tech’s Path Forward, Cultural Resilience in the Arts, The Rebirth Of Business, Transforming the Entertainment Landscape, Connection in Disconnection, and An Uncharted Future), which are specifically focused on our unique moment in history and a glimpse into what the future could look like. More information about SXSW programming formats and themes can be found here.

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Lorie Hollabaugh