Three of Australia’s biggest festivals are hosting showcases at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.  

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SXSW 2017

Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival will jointly curate a March 15 bash at the Sidewinder with acts from Australia, Norway, the U.S. and the UK. Laneway’s sixth SXSW Party, March 17 at The Mohawk, is also a mix of Australian and global acts.

“They are in the talent buying game and want to attract the cool hip ones and PR their event,” says Sydney-based Phil Tripp, who reps the Austin, Texas, event for Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. Government-funded music export body Sounds Australia is focusing on 27 export-ready Aussie acts via its 15th Aussie BBQ.

This year it expands to two days, March 16-17 (the second spotlighting EDM acts) at Brush Square Park’s East Tent, complete with Aussie beer and meat pies.

Sounds Australia also has a platform for 19 performances at B.D Riley’s on March 14 and March 19. Sounds Australia will also support 750 delegates from Down Under with the invite-only networking event The Luncheon, as well as Connections, a market education and export networking event for international music businesses.

This year 40 Aussie acts were green-lighted to play (with a further four doing unofficial sets). This is a 30 percent rise in the last five years, as more successfully strike agency, tour, record and publishing deals largely from the event.

“They’re becoming more export-ready and of a higher grade,” Tripp pointed out. “Aussie acts have a good strike rate at SXSW, absolutely. They work their asses off on stage and they create big buzzes.”

They include acts creating buzzes at home, including country singer Kasey Chambers, rapper Tkay Maidza, rock bands Hockey Dad and Slow Dancer, roots performers Tim WheatleyAll Our Exes Live in Texas and The Rumjacks, EDM beatmakers StarleyKuckaOscar Key Sung and Sui Zhen, and emerging singer songwriters Alex LaheyGabriella CohenCam AveryWoodes and Vera Blue.