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Willie Nelson to deliver SXSW online conference keynote

Willie Nelson in 2013 (cover photo by Gary Miller)

Shotgun Willie brings a few hundred friends to the virtual stage

Who’s a bestselling author, weed entrepreneur, martial arts black belt, and now a SXSW Online 2021 keynote speaker? Willie Nelson, that’s who (oh, yeah, and he may have written a tune or two).

The Red Headed Stranger is usually pretty busy during South By, but with his annual “anti-festival” the Luck Reunion on hold for another year, Shotgun Willie is getting on the digital road again as one of the headliners for SXSW’s 2021 digital conference – a rare appearance, and his first since his pop-up set Spotify House in 2016.

Of course the festival seems giddy for his words. “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.

But big as that news is, Nelson’s far from the only name on the roster of speakers and panels added today, with dozens of guests and over 200 sessions, selected via the festival’s PanelPicker platform. Rather than the traditional breakdown by media and medium, this time the conference content is more conceptual, with panels split across seven 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.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Richard Whittaker on The Austin Chronicle

Published: January 13, 2021

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