How we got to SxSW

Lots of people have been asking us how we got to do our showcase so here is a quick rundown of events leading up to today.

Getting the Showcase
Back during Autumn 2007 one of our writers, Sally, had been in touch with SxSW asking for a bit of info about the 2008 event. She received a very nice reply from one of the SxSW staff who commented that they knew of Fused and would we be interested in putting on an event. Of course it didn’t take much discussion in the office to work out how
great that would be and it was that simple.

What to do next
Having never been to the event we weren’t really sure of the set up but this is how it panned out.
-We agreed to host a Fused Magazine showcase
-We asked if we could put forward our own bands
-They said yes but they would have to go through an official showcase application process

The application process
After much discussion in the office we picked about 10 bands to put forward. They were all from Birmingham and bands that we thought could make a really good go of the opportunity.
Each band had to fill out an application form, send through MP3’s and Biogs and a small processing fee of about $25. The deadline was the end of October and notification on their success came during November.

The bands that got through were:
Copter
Swampmeat
The Big Bang
Deluka
Untitled Musical Project

On Notification
When the bands were notified of their success we set about looking for funding to get them out there. Of course this was going to be the hard part.

SxSW send all successful applicants a detailed pack of information about how to use the opportunity to its full advantage as well as ideas on funding, where to hire kit and help with accommodation (there are people in Austin that actually host bands in their homes for a week at a time free of charge).

We were also given a venue for our night time showcase The Tap Rooms, which is in the downtown warehouse district. Each venue has a dedicated stage manager that helps with all the bands requirements.

Applying for funding
During January the bands applied for a grant from the PRS Foundation under the British Music Abroad Programme – 2 of the bands had successful applications (Copter and Deluka). Unfortunately the other bands weren’t so fortunate.

So The Big Bang and Swampmeat figured they would find the money somehow but unfortunately UMP had to drop out.

Fused also applied to the Arts Council for additional funding to help towards the promotion of the event as well as UK Trade and Investment – we should the applications were successful next week – we’ll keep you posted.

Other Showcases
The showcases can hold up to about 6 bands so when we heard Trash Fashion were going to the event it made sense to add them to our line-up. As far as we can tell only bands that have been through the ‘official’ application process can play certain showcases whilst there are other opportunities to play throughout the week in unofficial showcases.

Some of the bands have managed to get other gigs sorted while they are there (more of that to come) while we have had lots of requests by bands from all over to come on to our showcase.

Booking flights and accommodation
Well the bands have been on the ball with this one -most band members have opted to fly in to Houston, Texas (costing around £350) a couple of days before the showcase. Re accommodation – there wasn’t alot to choose from – especially on a budget – as mentioned earlier some have opted for the hosted option, which sounds like fun, while others are going for a motel. As for Fused – well we haven’t been quite so organised (we’ll leave it at that!)

Promotion
With the bands committed to the event, the showcase date and venue sorted it was/is time to think about promotion. Again all of the bands have been proactive – using their own contacts, PR companies and sending out info.

Here at Fused the original intention was to produce one of our special edition magazines to promote the bands and the city – logistically this turned out to be a nightmare (along with the long wait to find out about funding) but we have some other plans on getting the info out there (more on that later).

What we have been doing is contacting labels (UK and US) as well as press to get some interest around the showcase. This has been going very well with some interesting people committing to attend the event.

And next? 
Well we aren’t actually at the event quite yet so anything could happen between now and then but we are feeling confident that it is going to be a great experience.

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1 Comment

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One response to “How we got to SxSW

  1. Pingback: Created in Birmingham » How Fused got to SxSW

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