Australian artists wishing to showcase at the South By Southwest Music & Media Festival and Conference in Austin in 2014 will be able to apply earlier this year.
SXSW has identified the additional cost, distance and visa application time needed for international travellers to get to Austin, Texas each March. Australian acts especially have to travel the furthest distance from all other territories to attend the event and that means planning almost a year in advance.
SXSW will open artist submissions for all acts on July 9 this year.
“The reason we are opening July 9 instead of our traditional August entry time is that Australian artists need extra time to obtain working visas for the U.S., schedule touring dates before and after our times of March 11-16 as well as apply for funding from Federal and state government contemporary music grant sources well in advance. Plus, applying early puts the smart bands ahead of the queue for critical listening time as compared to those who wait until the last minute to submit when reviewers’ ears are crisped.” Australia’s SXSW representative Phil Tripp outlines. “We’ve also obtained a special ruling from the US immigration authorities to bypass the expensive visa process if an artist will not be playing any paid gigs at SXSW, a saving of $2500 to $5000.”
In March 2013 more than 70 Australian acts were chosen from 250 submissions out of the 2250 artists who performed at SXSW from all over the world. 650 Australian and New Zealand delegates attended SXSW this year. “Music registrants are still our largest contingent but the growth of the Interactive and Film sister festivals and conferences occurring at the same time has been phenomenal,” Tripp said.
Australian artists who have played SXSW include John Butler Trio, Missy Higgins, Wolfmother and propelled others such as Kimbra, Temper Trap, DZ Deathrays, Alpine, Emma Louise, Cut Copy, Tame Impala and just from this year, Vance Joy and The Trouble With Templeton.
Submissions are done online using an Electronic Press Kit format by Sonicbids (http://sonicbids.com) which allows artists to upload recordings, bios, press materials, website and other links for a committee of over 100 professional evaluators to download, listen, look and choose. The cost is $33 from July 9, rising to $45 on September 6 and closing a month earlier than normal on October 11.
Registrations for delegates to attend open August 1.
SXSW 2014 dates are:
Interactive: March 7–11
Film: March 7–15
Music: March 11–16