The South By Southwest Music & Media Festival and Conference (SXSW at http://sxsw.com/music) held in Austin for 26 years has been a popular springboard for Australian artists to break into international markets. Applications for the showcase usually open in August but this year submissions opened in early July.
According to Australia's SXSW representative Phil Tripp: "The reason we are opening in July 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. 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."
Registrations for delegates to attend open August 1.