Billboard.biz has learned exclusive details of a significantly upgraded British presence at this year's South By Southwest festival, set for March 17-21 in Austin, Texas.
Billboard.biz has learned exclusive details of a significantly upgraded British presence at this year's South By Southwest festival, set for March 17-21 in Austin, Texas. These include the line-up for the U.K. new talent showcase sponsored by BBC Radio 2 and its digital station 6 Music in conjunction with trade organization the BPI, plus the bill for a second British showcase to be supported, and aired in the United Kingdom, by MTV2.
The Radio 2/6 Music showcase is set for March 18 at Buffalo Billiards, where Independiente melodic rock act Embrace will headline. The bill also features Dogs Die In Hot Cars, the Go Team!, James Blunt, Tom Baxter and Amy Smith.
The MTV2 showcase takes place March 19 at La Zona Rosa, where a five-act bill will be headlined by Virgin rock act the Music. Also playing are Idlewild, Nine Black Alps, the Magic Numbers and Tom Vek. The network, which visited SXSW for the first time only last year, will produce a one-hour special from the showcase to air March 25-26. MTV2 will also broadcast between three and five SXSW specials on its "Gonzo" series, commencing March 21.
The BPI is overseeing the most coordinated British presence in the event's history, expanding the "sUKonthis" branding that it launched at last year's SXSW. This will include not only a CD sampler of new British talent, as in previous years, but a limited-edition vinyl disc accentuating British talent, and the creation of a dedicated Web site.
The BBC's commitment to the festival includes extensive broadcasting on Radio 1, Radio 2 and 6 Music. The latter two stations are building their SXSW coverage into a Texan-themed season of programs, and will also launch a dedicated SXSW Web site.