We Have an Issue: Couch by Couchwest

Previewing SXSW’s all-virtual Conference and Festival, Austin FC’s spring training kickoff, and other stories on the web

Here and around the globe, the cancellation of the 2020 South by Southwest Festival and Conference was a startlement, and one of the first chilling signs that COVID-19 was going to seriously disrupt our lives and livelihoods. A year later, we've still not returned to "normal" – and maybe we never will. But we have, collectively, gotten better at this thing – at being safer, and at being more innovative.

Same goes for the world's largest commingling of cutting-edge technology and culture. SXSW 2021 is a 100% virtual affair, to be experienced like just about everything else these days: from the safety of your own home, the comfort of your own couch. That doesn't mean this year's Fest is unambitious. SXSW IRL is almost too big to comprehend. SXSW Online is just as daunting to wrap your arms around but in different ways.

The programming – everything from film premieres, music showcases, and stand-up sets to keynote speeches, networking opportunities, and panels tackling the most pressing issues of the day (racial justice, artificial intelligence, the climate crisis, take your pick) – streams across five channels, plus on-demand options, in a mix of live and pretaped content. There are, as ever, too many interesting things happening all at once to ever cram it all in. We hope our preview package can help demystify the process and point you in the direction of some of this year's standout offerings.

Cover by Zeke Barbaro / Getty Images (Abrams: Courtesy of Stacey Abrams; Nelson: Photo By Larry Philpot / CC BY 2.0)

Online This Week

Monica Ceniceros

This Particular ATX Gal Is Keeping Busy Wayne Alan Brenner speaks with art-world mover and shaker Monica Ceniceros about her work with Creative Box Studios, the Cathedral, and atxGALS.

Day Trips & Beyond A year into the pandemic, traveling around the state has its challenges and surprise finds. "Day Trips" columnist Gerald McLeod rounds up March events worth checking out.

From Page to Screen Screens Editor Richard Whittaker chats with Patrick Ness about adapting his novel The Knife of Never Letting Go into Chaos Walking.

Austin FC coach Josh Wolff (photos via Twitter.com/AustinFC)

Spring Training Kick-Starts At long last, Austin FC has set dates for the club's first road and home games. Find Chronicle Austin FC reporter Eric Goodman's latest report on the team's progress at austinchronicle.com/austin-fc.

As If You Need the Excuse to Drink Slap on something green and celebrate St. Patrick's Day on March 17.

Continuing SXSW Coverage Stay on top of SXSW Online's buzziest films, music showcases, panels, comedy sets, and more at austinchronicle.com/sxsw.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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