SXSW festival to launch European edition in London next year

FILE PHOTO: SXSW (South by Southwest) conference and festivals in Austin

LONDON (Reuters) - South by Southwest, the music, technology and film festival (SXSW) held annually in Austin, Texas is coming to London next year in a new European edition.

The inaugural SXSW London will take place in June 2025 in the English capital's trendy eastern area of Shoreditch.

"We'll be calling into every single drop of London's creativity and its energy," Randel Bryan, managing director SXSW Europe, told Reuters.

"London has for generations punched way above its weight in its influence in the cultural and entertainment industries and so we really want to tap into that kind of rebellious, disruptive London attitude to bring something unique to SXSW."

SXSW first launched in 1987 as a music festival but has since grown to incorporate film, television, video games and technology.

Twitter, now X, promoted itself there in its early days in 2007 and the event has welcomed speakers including former U.S. President Barack Obama, filmmaker Steven Spielberg and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, among other famous names.

It has been a launch location for movies and TV shows as well as been a showcase for singers early in their careers, including the likes of Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa.

"Obviously, in the US, they've had... global superstars that have... premiered their work at SXSW... (or) have been in the talks program... so we want to make sure that we bring a similar scale of artists and talent to London," Bryan said.

"But we also don't want to neglect nurturing these local stories and finding ways for communities in and around London and Europe to share their views about what the future holds."

(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian, editing by Ed Osmond)