2009 DELIVERS INCREASED INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION
‘…SXSW also has emerged as a great place for international acts to break on U.S. shores…’ BILLBOARD
International participation at SXSW continues to make impressive gains. One fourth of all band applications for 2009 came from abroad and forty percent of the bands invited to perform at SXSW 2009 hail from outside the US. The UK still holds the lead in the number of accepted bands but 2009 shows a surprising surge from Mexico, third behind the UK and Canada with 41 invited bands. Spain ties with Australia for fourth place and an unusually large contingent of Brazilian bands comes in fifth.
An unprecedented seven countries from Latin America will be sending their bands to Austin and registrants will be able to sample music from five African nations. The total number of countries with invited acts stands at 52 as compared with 43 countries represented at SXSW 2008.
Perhaps even more significant than the number of international bands that apply and perform at SXSW, is the number of international business people who continue to flock to Austin. International registration is already up 33% for 2009. Internationals are drawn to SXSW for the unparalleled opportunity to connect with the US music industry as well as with their counterparts in film and interactive.
First-timers bring fresh perspectives and high expectations. Gina Cobbold, Account Manager of the UK on-line lifestyle community Xtaster will be attending SXSW for the first time in 2009. “Over the course of my time working in the music industry, I have always wanted to experience the hub that is SXSW. I expect to see not only music, film and interactive but a huge breeding ground for these industries building new relationships with brands across the board.”
Bruno Oxe of the Brazilian funk rock band Oxe, from the far northeastern region of the country, calls SXSW “…a dream come true…we are certain that SXSW will be the beginning of a new era for Oxe. Hopefully, we’ll return to Brazil with exciting prospects for an international beginning.”
Indie Mobile, a British company that licenses indie label content for mobile, is another new face at SXSW 2009. MD Seth Jackson is looking forward to a productive and exciting trip: “2009 is the year we are really focused on expanding our North American network; taking quality British and European music and delivering via mobile to the US audience. We are hoping to run some cutting edge mobile marketing campaigns at the festival to showcase what can be achieved with the right mix of technology, creative and kick-ass music.”
Berlin and Hamburg are making first-time appearances at SXSW 2009 with showcases, special events and a presence in the Trade Show. The City of Hamburg is sponsoring a series of events with the Reeperbahn Festival, the annual international indie-rock festival that Hamburg hosts each fall. “Hamburg is already established as Germany’s number one music city but there is still a lot to do to put Hamburg on the map internationally. Austin is the go-to place for international attention,” says Johannes Everke, Director of Marketing Services for Hamburg Marketing.
Gabriel Prokoviev, grandson of the classical composer, agrees. He is bringing his London-based Nonclassical project — part record label/part nightclub and live music incubator – to Austin for the first time. “SXSW is THE rock ‘n roll event where musical boundaries are broken, and therefore the most exciting place for us to bring Nonclassical. It will be a chance for people to see that in the right environment classical music can really ‘go off the rails’ and give as good as any band or dj. Plus it will be an opportunity for us to meet many other inspirational international artists and absorb new influences and approaches to 21st century music.”
Whether the boundaries are to be broken or to be bridged, SXSW remains a unique meeting point for global business in music, film and interactive.
Participating countries include: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, Faroe Islands, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, UK, Uganda, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela.
SXSW is sponsored by Miller Lite, Independent Film Channel, Fuze Beverage, Sonicbids, ZonePerfect, The MLB Authentic Collection, the Austin Chronicle and Pepsi.