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Hugh Forrest

Co-President and Chief Programming Officer, SXSW

About Hugh Forrest

Hugh Forrest serves as Co-President and Chief Programming Officer for South by Southwest (SXSW). For his role of Chief Programming Officer, he oversees content for the SXSW Conference, as well as the SXSW Music Festival, the SXSW Film Festival, the SXSW Comedy Festival and SXSW EDU.

Forrest was named "Austinite of the Year" in 2012 by the Austin Chamber of Commerce (along with fellow SXSW Directors Roland Swenson, Louis Black and Nick Barbaro). In 2014, Forrest and these other SXSW Directors were named Austin Entrepreneurs of the Year by Ernst & Young. He was awarded a Key to the City in January 2023 by Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

Before joining the SXSW team in the dark ages of 1989, he founded a small monthly alternative publication called The Austin Challenger. He also wrote for several other newspapers and publications, including the Austin Chronicle, the Texas Sports Chronicle, the West Austin News, Willamette Week and the Seattle Weekly.