Secret Machines, Robert Pollard, Cat Power, Beth Orton, Belle & Sebastian, Calexico, Neko Case, Tom Verlaine, Giant Sand, Nickel Creek and Dashboard Confessional are among the first acts confirmed

Secret Machines, Robert Pollard, Cat Power, Beth Orton, Belle & Sebastian, Calexico, Neko Case, Echo & the Bunnymen, Elbow, Tom Verlaine, Giant Sand, Nickel Creek and Dashboard Confessional are among the first acts confirmed to appear at the 2006 South by Southwest festival, which will be held March 15-19 in Austin, Texas.

As usual, the event will feature a strong contingent of U.K. and European buzz acts, including Annie, Arctic Monkeys, the Boy Least Likely To, the Duke Spirit, the Cribs, the Earlies, the Go! Team, Lady Sovereign, Mystery Jets, Towers Of London and the Magic Numbers.

In addition to previously announced speeches by Kris Kristofferson, Judy Collins and Billy Bragg, plus a keynote conversation with Neil Young, artist interviews are confirmed with the Pretenders, Sam Moore and k.d. lang.

Among the other artist set to perform at SXSW next year are Susan Tedeschi, Erase Errata, Flogging Molly, Hellacopters, Blockhead, Be Your Own Pet, Dirty Vegas, Destroyer, Magnolia Electric Company, Mates OF State, Tarantula A.D., Most Serene Republic and Marty Stuart.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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