Scots set to feature in South by Southwest

By Samantha Barr

Edinburgh four piece, Vistas, are one of three Scottish bands set to feature at South by Southwest, SXSW, in March.

Glaswegian band Catholic Action and Perthshire’s Parliamo will also be involved after the Texan festival announced another 210 artists taking part.

SXSW previously announced 288 acts from 51 countries but followed that up with another hosts of artists.

Also, among those announced was British band, The Sherlocks and Leeds based Marsicans.

The Austin-based showcase for live talent has been going since the late eighties and ‘dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals,’ by bringing together new music talent and creative creators as well a number of guest speakers such as the Obama’s and Mark Zuckerberg.

The event has also premiered films such as ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘Back and Forth,’ a documentary about the Foo Fighters but it is mostly known for gaining exposure to up and coming artists.

A host of popular artists have played the event before they went on to become viral, including the likes of Ed Sheeran, Florence and the Machine, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, The Artic Monkeys and The Strokes.

The event brings the opportunity for artists to gain exposure on an international stage as Huw Stephens and Steve Lamacq from BBC Radio attend the festival bringing the voice to the UK.

However, exposure in the US is the major selling point of the festival, as in 2019, 74% of the attendees were from within the USA. The other 26% was made up of attendees from 102 countries worldwide.

Every year, UK artists who are attending the festival, get backing from PRS foundation as the costs add up for these relevantly unknown artists and CEO, Vanessa Reid, says they do this to help musicians in a ‘crucial step’ of their career.

The importance of the event was backed up by Peter Leathem, Chief Executive at PPL, licensing company and performance rights organisation in the UK, as he called SXSW one of the most ‘influential music festivals in the world.’

“PPL now has 92 international collection agreements around the world so there is no more appropriate gathering for the company to meet our key stakeholders than SXSW.”

Therefore, the announcement of new artists set to play at SXSW isn’t just good news for those planning to attend but for the music industry, with new artists continuing to be supported year after year.

SXSW came about in 1986, after multiple meetings were held in the offices of the Austin Chronicle where attendees were sworn to secrecy before discussing the future of the entertainment and music industry.

Their ideas were discussed on how to get local talent seen by those from outside the city and as a result SXSW was founded in 1987 where around 700 people turned up, compared to the expected 150.

Each year the event has grew stronger with last year’s event have around 417,400 people in attendance with live acts from over 62 countries.



Attracting a world wide audience. – Source: SXSW

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