South By Southwest festival set to take over east London in June 2025 for its first ever European event

SXSW London
(Image credit: SXSW)

South By South West festival, self-identifying as “the world’s leading festival celebrating the convergence of creativity, culture and technology”, is coming to London next summer. 

The festival, which has been staged in Austin, Texas since 1987, and which has a reputation for showcasing the best up-and-coming artists in the music world, in addition to providing unparalleled networking opportunities for the music industry, will take over venues, galleries, clubs and restaurants in Shoreditch, east London for a week in June 2025.

In a press release announcing the event, organisers say that SXSW London will “bring its own distinctive personality, driven by London’s internationally renowned cultural life and creativity, its status as a global meeting place, and its proximity to other major creative and tech centres in Europe.”

“As a life-long fan of SXSW I truly believe that it’s more than an event – it’s a movement, a platform where the world’s greatest minds, musicians and motivators come to share their passion and their vision of the future,” says Randel Bryan, Managing Director of SXSW London.

Sadiq Khan, newly elected as Mayor of London for a third consecutive term, adds: “I am delighted to welcome SXSW to London for the first time ever – confirming our place at the heart of Europe’s tech and creative sectors and as a global capital of culture.

“When I was part of SXSW in Austin in 2018, I saw first-hand the electric atmosphere of innovation SXSW creates and I can’t wait to be part of it again.  This is a historic opportunity for London to once again bring the world’s most exciting talent together as part of our mission to build a better and more prosperous London for everyone.”

The 2024 staging of SXSW in Austin was boycotted by scores of artists, after it was revealed that the US army and defence contractors which supply weapons to Israel are among its sponsors. 

All 12 Irish bands booked to perform at official showcases withdrew from the festival, with Belfast rap trio Kneecap stating that their decision was taken to “highlight the unacceptable deep links the festival has to weapons companies and the U.S. military who at this very moment are enabling a genocide and famine against a trapped population.”

“We cannot in good conscience attend an arts festival that has 'The US Army' as a 'Super Sponsor' and and is platforming RTX (formerly Raytheon), Collins Aerospace, and BAE Systems, the very companies selling the weapons that have murdered 31,000 Palestinians, over 21,000 of them women and children.”

It has not yet been revealed who will be sponsoring the festival's London edition. 

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.