This year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas resulted in huge impact and buzz for British artists supported through PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund, with 1/3 of the New York Times “Notable Acts” at SXSW having been supported by PRS Foundation including electronic pop artist Anna Meredith, jazz trio GoGo Penguin and indie pop band Let’s Eat Grandma.
Elsewhere NPR (National Public Radio) covered GoGo Penguin, Let’s Eat Grandma, Anna Meredith L.A. Salami, She Drew the Gun and Dream Wife, whilst Buggsy, Let’s Eat Grandma and Japanese House featured on Austin Chronicle’s “Must See International Acts”, amongst a host of other key tastemaker lists.
A number of supported artists are also beginning to tell PRS Foundation about strong in-roads they’re making with US labels, publishers or agents with more confirmed details to follow in the coming weeks and months. These early results tally with the recent impact report on the International Showcase Fund between 2011-16 which showed that 89% of artists supported to showcase internationally come back with these types of tangible business deals as a result of showcasing overseas.
This year saw the highest number of artists, 37, supported to perform at SXSW through PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund thanks to new funding partners and a joint commitment to supporting a particularly diverse line-up of UK artists to perform at this global meeting point for the industry.
Vanessa Reed CEO of PRS Foundation said, “It’s fantastic to see our talented British artists making a real splash in the US at SXSW, taking advantage of the opportunity to showcase in this important territory for business development. We’re proud to have been able to support so many artists this year through our International Showcase Fund which is backed by Department of International Trade, Arts Council England, PPL, British Underground, Musicians Union, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales and Pledge Music. This year’s acts have demonstrated that even in the world’s largest and most popular showcase event, distinctive UK music cuts through, confirming the talent and originality of our songwriters and composers. I look forward to following the next chapter of their international development.”
International Showcase Fund supported, Charlie Cunningham said, “The International Showcase Fund support meant I was able to play my first US gigs at SXSW, which seemed to go down really well. My managers are already having follow up conversations with people who saw me play in Austin and I’m looking forward to hopefully returning to America later this year.”
International Showcase Fund supported Dream Wife said, “Austin was a dream from the moment we landed til we said our goodbyes at the airport with sea shell necklaces around our necks. We had gotten a few new freckles, played quite a lot of crazy shows, made a lot of new friends, the most amazing memories, and we left with very warm hearts. In total we played 9 shows spanning over 5 days. The venues each had their own character and southern vibe to it. We had some of the most fun and sweaty shows we’ve ever played!! We loved the crowds in Austin and enjoyed the madness of the festival where a show was happening on every corner. This was our first trip to the USA as a band and we are forever thankful to the International Showcase funding for making this wild ride happen. We can’t wait to go back!”