'Work the crowd': PPL's Dan Millington on how emerging UK talent can fly at SXSW

'Work the crowd': PPL's Dan Millington on how emerging UK talent can fly at SXSW

If you’re looking for the best in emerging UK music at South By Southwest 2018, the British Music Embassy showcase should be your first port of call.

This year, the Embassy – a partnership with AIM, BBC Music, the Department for International Trade (DIT), PPL and PRS For Music – brings a host of acts including AJ Tracey, Shame and Music Week coverstars Pale Waves (pictured, above) to Austin’s Latitude 30 venue. 

We hear from Sarah Wall, senior events & outreach manager, PPL in the new edition of Music Week, where we delve into what SXSW means for the UK industry and how emerging artists can make the most of it.

Alongside Wall in team PPL is Dan Millington, senior membership manager. Here, Millington delves deeper into what the UK biz should really be looking to take away from its time in Austin.

Read on for the lowdown on how to maximise your time in Texas.

How important is SXSW to the UK music industry and why?

SXSW is a key event in the calendar for up-and-coming British acts that have reached a level where international showcasing is their next logical step on the road to success. The presence of industry professionals from across the spectrum is key, and provides a perfect audience for the bands and artists to demonstrate their ability. Many will often have deals come off the back of performing at SXSW. They will also see an increase in UK coverage by virtue of performing at the event given the presence of the BBC and other key industry press reporting on the showcases. SXSW benefits both their international and UK careers and is therefore an incredibly important milestone.

How can it help new acts?

Primarily, it is exposure to a new market and exposure to industry professionals that may not be present here in the UK, so the key is to ensure that you have the best possible showcase you can. Network as much as possible, because having asuccessful SXSW can be hugely beneficial.  

How can they make the most of the opportunities available?

For me, networking is the biggest takeaway. There are so many key people at SXSW, all in one place for a whole week and the biggest thing an act can do whilst out there, other than having a great showcase, is work the crowd. SXSW is the number one networking event in the industry, so it’s important that showcasing artists take advantage of this wherever possible. Whilst networking is important it’s also vital to make sure that there is a post-event plan; follow up with all of those people you met whilst out there and have an action plan on what your next steps are so that you can maximise the opportunity that is showcasing at SXSW.

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