Brits Invade US Again at SXSW

    March 13, 2005

My RSS reader this morning is full of posts about SXSW, the South by Southwest Festivals and Conferences taking place in Austin, Texas, from 11-20 March.

Most of these posts are about the SXSW Interactive Festival, which runs from 11-15 March. This event “brings together uber-geeks and digital innovators from around the world for four days of keynote speeches, trade show, panels, parties and assorted evening fun. […] This is the event where the web’s most creative minds share their ideas about how interactive technology will shape our future.”

Probably the easiest place to see what’s going on and who’s talking about what is by subscribing to the SXSW RSS feed at PubSub set up by Robert Scoble. Another great resource is the SXSW resources page that Constantin Basturea has set up at The New PR Wiki.

So I’m scanning the posts when one in particular catches my eye – a story in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph that begins:

Nearly 100 British bands are involved in the biggest rock “invasion” of America since the 1960s, this time with taxpayers’ money provided in anticipation of lucrative exports.

The is about the SXSW Music and Media Conference which “showcases hundreds of musical acts from around the globe on fifty stages in downtown Austin. By day, conference registrants do business in the SXSW Trade Show in the Austin Convention Center and partake of a full agenda of informative, provocative panel discussions featuring hundreds of speakers of international stature.”

From the Telegraph:

This weekend, 91 groups ranging from the Kaiser Chiefs, from Leeds, to the Scots rockers Dogs Die In Hot Cars, will arrive in Austin, Texas, eager to crack the toughest market in music.

All are “showcasing” their talents at the South by Southwest music convention, the most influential gathering of rock acts, recording companies, talent scouts and media.

This year, according to Time magazine, the timing may be perfect. The magazine reported that Britain was again on the rise. It advised readers. “British rock is back, and even Americans want to listen.”

Phil Paterson, the Government’s export promoter for the British music industry, said: “The largest contingent, apart from the Americans, at the show is from Britain and we’re doing everything we can to promote the acts.”

[…] Elvis Costello will talk about his life and Robert Plant, of Led Zeppelin, is giving a masterclass, along with stars such as John Cale, Billy Idol and the former Beach Boy Brian Wilson.

Rock on!

Daily Telegraph | Brits invade US again – with a little help from their friends (registration required)

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– sxsw, sxsw2005

Related BBC News story: Can Brits stars crack America?

Neville Hobson is the author of the popular blog which focuses on business communication and technology.

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