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SXSW 2022: Jason Isbell, Marianne Williamson, Pfizer CEO coming to Austin event in March

Eric Webb
Austin 360

South by Southwest on Tuesday announced a round of featured speakers for its March festival, spanning everyone from an alt-country star to the head of a company at the epicenter of vaccine research.

Grammy winner Jason Isbell will appear as part of this year's conference, which will return to Austin from March 11-20. Another major name revealed for the physical/digital hybrid edition of SXSW: Dr. Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer.

Also on the newly released lineup of featured speakers, which is heavy on tech and music industry names: Michael Dell, founder, chairman and CEO of Central Texas-based Dell Technologies; Elizabeth Vargas, A&E Investigates and ABC News anchor; Wes Hurt, founder of Austin-based beverage brand Clean Cause; Linda Perry, the songwriter and producer; frequent SXSW guest Nile Rodgers; and more.

Jason Isbell, seen here performing in Austin on Aug. 7, is one of the major names on this year's South by Southwest lineup, the event's organizers revealed Tuesday.

SXSW also revealed a handful of featured sessions covering topics like the metaverse, the data economy and asymmetric political activism. That last session will feature former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, among others.

To see the full list of speakers and sessions announced so far, go to sxsw.com.

SXSW 2022 will mark the festival's return to in-person programming for the first time in two years. The cancellation of the 2020 festival preceded weeks of lockdowns due to the global coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, SXSW staged an online-only event. This year's event will include online viewing and participation options, according to SXSW.

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Marianne Williamson endorses Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders during a campaign event on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in Austin. Williamson will appear as part of the 2022 South by Southwest conference.

All SXSW participants will be required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a recent negative test result "in order to collect and maintain their credentials," according to organizers. "Masks will be required in all conference session rooms, exhibitions, registration, and pre-function areas, and as determined by individual venues and client spaces," reads the event's official coronavirus policy.