South by Southwest Festival: Singers strut their stuff in Texas

South By Southwest Festival 2018

Singers from all over the world are in Austin, Texas, this week for the South By Southwest (SXSW) festival where there are opportunities aplenty to perform, collaborate and network.

If you’re in the music, tech, design or film industries, then Austin, Texas, is the place to be right now. The annual SXSW festival is on, bringing together creatives and business figures from all corners of the globe to talk, listen and explore new ideas.

For singers the festival is a chance to make connections, reach out to new audiences and maybe even do business. Here you’ll find established stars such as Nile Rogers and Keith Urban rubbing shoulders with emerging artists.

“SXSW provides a great chance for exciting independent artists to perform on an international stage and expand their following around the world,” says Paul Pacifico, CEO at the Association of Independent Music.

This year 2,000 acts from more than 60 countries will perform at the music extravaganza. Downtown Austin will be jumping with gigs taking place in bars, clubs, parks, churches and hotels. In attendance will be more than 30,000 industry reps, 3,000 media folk and tens of thousands of music fans.

Brits at SXSW

From a British perspective the bulk of the performing action will take place at The British Music Embassy at the Latitude 30 venue. It will host six night time official SXSW showcases in partnership with AIM, BBC Music, BPI, the Department for International Trade (DIT), PPL, PRS for Music and the PRS Foundation. 

The line-up includes rising stars Another Sky, Sam Fender, Grace Carter, The Pearl Harts and Ferris and Sylvester.

Getting a gig at SXSW

Let’s face it, if you’re reading this you’ve probably missed the SXSW boat for this year. But it’s never too early to start thinking about 2020. Keep an eye out on the SXSW website for details about Showcasing Artist Applications for 2020. BBC Introducing also helps a lot of artists make it to SXSW, so make sure you’ve registered your music with them.

Other big music industry events

MIDEM takes place in Cannes, France, in early June every year and like SXSW attracts a mix of artists and music industry players. It runs the Artist Accelerator Programme, a scheme that mentors emerging acts. Another opportunity worth exploring comes via the Universal Music Publishing Group. At MIDEM this year it is giving selected artists, songwriters and producers advice on how to increase their chances to secure a publishing deal, increase their profile and generate revenues. If you’d like to be considered for this scheme, apply online before 1 April.

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