SXSW Names The Black Keys as Conference Keynote

South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals has announced the addition of Keynotes Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of The Black Keys and the fourth round of Featured Speakers for the 38th edition of its annual Conference, which celebrates the convergence of technology, film, television, and music. SXSW takes place March 8-16, 2024 in Austin, Texas. Formed in Akron, Ohio in 2001, The Black Keys are singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney. They have been called ‘rock royalty’ by the Associated Press and ‘one of the best rock ‘n’ roll bands on the planet’ by Uncut. Originally getting their start playing small clubs, the band has gone on to sell out arena tours worldwide and have released 11 studio albums. The Black Keys have won six Grammy Awards and a BRIT, among other worldwide accolades. A new documentary, This is a Film About The Black Keys, traces their remarkable journey from two neighborhood kids jamming in a basement in Akron, Ohio to rock ’n roll super-stardom will World Premiere at the SXSW Film & TV Festival. 

The Featured Speakers announced today include CEO of Delta Air Lines Ed Bastian,two-time Academy Award-winning actress, producer, author, and activist Jane Fonda,actor/writer/director Devery Jacobs, founder and President of the Amazon Labor Union and founder of The Congress of Essential Workers Chris Smalls, three-time NBA champion, Basketball Hall of Famer, Olympic gold medalist, New York Times bestselling author, and businessman Dwyane Wade, andactor, producer, and co-founder of SpectreVision Elijah Wood.

"The impact of artists has made music the foundation of SXSW," said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer and Co-President. “For this reason, we’re especially excited to welcome Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, one of the most compelling rock bands around, to the Keynote Speaker lineup for a discussion on their prolific career.”

The SXSW Conference is organized into 24 programming tracks presented in a variety of session formats. Tracks for 2024 include 2050, Advertising & Brand Experience, Artificial Intelligence, Climate Change, Creating Film & TV, Creator Economy, Culture, Design, Energy, Fashion & Beauty, Film & TV Industry, Food, Game Industry, Government and Civic Engagement, Health & MedTech, Music & Tech, Music Careers, Psychedelics, Sports, Startups, Tech Industry, Transportation, Workplace, and XR. More information about SXSW programming tracks and formats can be found here.

Newly-announced SXSW 2024 Keynotes:

  • Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of the six-time Grammy Award-winning band The Black Keys

Newly-announced Featured Speakers include:

  • CEO at Twitch Dan Clancy
  • Inventor, futurist, New York Times bestselling author, Grammy Award winner, and Principal Researcher and AI Visionary at Google Ray Kurzweil
  • CEO of Mostly Human Media Laurie Segall

Newly-announced Featured Sessions include:

  • 2050: Reimagining Future Cities Without Homelessness: In this session, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Jeff Olivet, President and CEO of Los Angeles Mission Troy Vaughn, and U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters will reimagine how cities in the future can flourish without homelessness.
  • A^²: Connecting the Dots: In this session, lawyer, writer, and public speaker Steven Donziger and founder and President of the Amazon Labor Union and founder of The Congress of Essential Workers Chris Smalls will speak to the challenges of taking on two of the most powerful corporations in the world. From Chevron in the Amazon to the Amazon Corporation, these two are putting everything on the line to speak truth to power while inspiring all of us to step up and take action. 
  • Culturally Confronting Loneliness: This session will focus on changing the loneliness conversation on a macro scale from something overwhelming and sad, to something dynamic and hopeful. Founder and CEO of Hinge Justin McLeod and author and CEO of TheLi.st Ann Shoket will answer questions such as how can we start to dismantle shame, welcome constructive change, and foster community, what role has technology had in the creation of loneliness and what role can it have in solving this problem, how do we get healthier and build true connection, and what proven tools and tactics can ground us all in the mission of forging a path to togetherness?
  • Death of the Follower & the Future of Creativity on the Web: The Internet started as a platform that democratized creative distribution. You could upload your work to platforms like YouTube and immediately have it accessible to millions of people. After that came the "subscribe" button, which enabled creators to go beyond reach and find true fans whose support would allow them to build a creative business. But with the rise of platform-focused algorithms (Facebook's ranking, TikTok's "for you" curation), creators cannot reach their following and true fans. This shift has had a devastating impact on creators' creativity and ability to support themselves doing what they love. In this session, co-founder and CEO of Patreon Jack Conte will explain how the current internet algorithms are killing the traditional "follower" for creators and advocate for the new spaces on the internet (like Patreon) where creators can always connect with their communities, create what they want, and control their own destinies.
  • Engaging the Next Gen: My Hero Academia’s Journey to Roblox: The unique potential of the Metaverse to engage fans and foster communities, all while presenting substantial revenue opportunities is not yet understood by all marketers and brand owners. In this session, founder and CEO of Gamefam Joe Ferencz and Executive Vice President of Emerging Business and General Manager of Games at Crunchyroll Terry Li will share the journey of bringing My Hero Academia to Roblox and explain why metaverse platforms are critical for brands looking to maintain relevance, build community, and drive growth with a new generation of potential consumers.
  • FX’s Reservation Dogs: Indigenous Storytelling Without Bounds: FX’s Reservation Dogs has been hailed as a triumph in authentic Indigenous storytelling on screen. The acclaimed series has broken barriers both in front of and behind the camera, with every writer, director and series regular on the show being Indigenous. While singularly unique to mainstream audiences, the series is the culmination of decades of grassroots filmmaking and advocacy that has been taking place across Turtle Island/North America and beyond. In this session, co-creator/EP/writer/director Sterlin Harjo, director Danis Goulet, actor/writer/director Devery Jacobs, actor D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai and CEO of the Indigenous Screen Office Kerry Swanson will discuss how a global community of Indigenous storytellers are breaking through with distinctly Indigenous ways of telling stories on screen, signaling an exciting new era for the industry.
  • Hollywood and Activism: Insights from Jane Fonda, Sweta Chakraborty, and David Fenton: In this session, come discover the secrets to creating real and meaningful change from two-time Academy Award-winning actor, producer, author, and activist Jane Fonda, climate behavioral scientist, author, and CEO of North America for We Don’t Have Time Dr. Sweta Chakraborty, and activist, author of The Activist’s Media Handbook, and public relations professional David Fenton. Hear directly from the masterminds behind freeing Nelson Mandela, Fire Drill Fridays, and We Don’t Have Time and learn how to use media and communication to mobilize the public for meaningful action and policy progress.
  • Icons of Impact: A Conversation with Dwyane Wade: In this session, embark on a journey through the dynamic universe of three-time NBA champion, Basketball Hall of Famer, Olympic gold medalist, New York Times bestselling author, and businessman Dwyane Wade, an NBA legend not just defined by his prowess on the court but also his remarkable impact off it. From delivering captivating keynote speeches to making striking statements in the realms of fashion and design, Wade's entrepreneurial spirit shines brightly. Dive into his entrepreneurial ventures and uncover how this basketball icon has masterfully crafted a diversified empire in business.
  • Live Podcast Episode of Visitations with Elijah Wood & Daniel Noah: On their podcast, Visitations, writer, director, and co-founder of SpectreVision Daniel Noah and actor, producer, and co-founder of SpectreVision Elijah Wood visit the homes and workshops of their favorite creators in film and beyond for intimate conversations about how they turn their lives into art. In this special, live edition of Visitations to launch season two, Wood and Noah will chat with a guest from the SXSW 2024 lineup.
  • People First, Always: How to Put Values at the Heart of Your Business: In cutthroat and challenging times for business, it is increasingly difficult to focus on anything other than the bottom line. And yet, it’s people who are the heartbeat of any successful organization. Making people central to business strategy and investing in customers and employees is vital to building trust, retaining talent and transcending industry categories. Delta has navigated one of the most volatile and competitive industries on the planet for nearly a century. The airline leads today because of a simple, but powerful principle: always put people first. In this session, join CEO of Delta Air Lines Ed Bastian and other special guests to learn how to cultivate community from the inside out and foster a spirit of human connection that will drive business forward and sustain success for the years ahead.  
  • The Transformation of Music Sync: When the Songwriter Becomes the Screenwriter: Entertainment is evolving, and music is no longer seen as an afterthought in film, TV, streaming, and other forms of media. Songs are now defining entire story arcs from the very beginning with songwriters helping to drive the creative process, often serving as screenwriters, executive music producers, directors, and more. In this session, musician, composer, film scorer, 28-time Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning producer, and founder of the act Calle 13 Eduardo Cabra, Music Crossover Agent at Creative Artists Agency Stephanie Langs, author, music journalist and host of the podcast Totally 80s Lyndsey Parker, Executive Vice President, Global Sync and Media Original Music at Warner Chappell Music Rich Robinson, and artist, activist, Grammy Award-nominated songwriter, and founder and CEO of Facet Records Justin Tranter will explore the players influencing these shifts and the new opportunities for songwriters and artists looking to stretch their creative muscles.

Additional Keynote Speakers and Featured Sessions will be announced in the coming weeks.

Learn more at sxsw.com. To register for the event, visit sxsw.com/attend.