The British Music Embassy, SXSW’s destination for breakout UK music stars, today announces its live return to the festival with a bigger-than-ever presence. Previously an intimate 250-person showcase, the British Music Embassy will return in 2022 with a capacity of 700 at Cedar Street Courtyard, an open-air SXSW hotspot that will host the best of British music. This will be the first in-person British Music Embassy since 2019 as the 2020 edition of SXSW was one of the first major festivals to be cancelled as COVID-19 spread. That year the British Music Embassy pivoted to last-minute virtual showcases, with 2021’s edition of the British Music Embassy at SXSW also presenting virtual showcases.
SXSW is one of the foremost international new music festivals, bringing together music artists and professionals in Austin, Texas for a week-long celebration of music and creativity. The British Music Embassy has been at SXSW since 2008 and has helped over 450 of the UK’s most exciting new artists reach new international audiences and, in some cases, become global success stories. Past performers include AJ Tracey, Arlo Parks, Bastille, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Celeste, Dave, IDLES, Rag‘n’Bone Man, Sam Fender, The Big Moon and The 1975. A week-long programme of panels and roundtables featuring top UK executives and industry experts also offers extensive networking opportunities for UK music professionals looking to expand their businesses internationally, including those in management, publishing or at labels. The British Music Embassy is brought to you by the Association of Independent Music (AIM), BBC Introducing, BPI, the Department for International Tradethe MMF Accelerator programme, PPL, PRS for Music and PRS Foundation, in association with ATC, Marshall, Production Park, media partner DIY Magazine and Belfast City Council.
The 2022 live return follows 2021’s virtual SXSW, in which 35 UK artists pre-recorded live performances. The British Music Embassy’s presence in 2021 was bigger than that of any other country and this year’s expansion into Cedar Street Courtyard reflects a continued effort to showcase UK talent worldwide and support the vital platform offered to artists at SXSW .
James Minor, Head of Music Festival at SXSW, said:
"The British Music Embassy showcase has been a highlight of the SXSW Music Festival for more than 15 years. As the world reconvenes in Austin in March 2022 to see where our global industry is headed, we especially look forward to discovering what's next in British Music at the British Music Embassy."
IDLES, UK #1 band and British Music Embassy alumni, said:
“Playing the British Music Embassy at SXSW was a huge deal for IDLES, it marked a turning point where we went from being entirely underground, entirely unheard of. People started to take notice. SXSW is a whirlwind of anxious, eager, thrilling energy and the British Music Embassy shows always bring that energy by the bucketload. It meant a lot for us to be there.”
Louise Latimer, Manager, East City Management, which represents British Music Embassy alumni The Big Moon, said:
“Playing SXSW is often pretty anxiety inducing for bands and managers - famously difficult shows with no soundchecks, power failures, and the sound of a thousand snare drums floating through the air. The British Music Embassy showcase, however, is a safe haven - a show you know you’re going to get fantastic production, a smoothly run show and expert, kind crew on hand to deal with any issues. It’s the one day I can relax!”
Tom Windish, Agent, Wasserman Music, said:
“SXSW is the most important event of the year in the USA for a musician with a developing career. Every year tens and tens of thousands of people travel to Austin, Texas to see the latest and greatest musicians at music showcases all over the city.
“Of all the parties and events, the British Music Embassy is one of the very best. Year after year, they consistently feature the brightest rising stars of the UK music scene. The British Music Embassy is always the first place I go when I get to Austin and I consistently keep coming back throughout the week to see the great talent they host.”
Photo credit: Thomas Jackson, TyneSight