Participating alongside several industry partners and in collaboration with BBC Music Introducing Live and the Department for International Trade (DIT), the team was responsible for upgrading and operating the lighting, sound and video.
It supplied all backline and full stage operation for the event’s official UK residency – running throughout the 70 scheduled performances over seven days in the 700-capacity Cedar Street Courtyard.
SXSW – an annual conglomeration of parallel film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences – returned in-person at a new venue from 11-20 March after being cancelled in 2020 and running virtually in 2021. This year’s event marked the 10th time the BME was run by Production Park.
The BME team was led by production manager Ant Forbes and stage manager Sam Wilkinson, both from Production Park. It also included Bradley Nicholson, a third-year BA (Hons) Live Events Production student at Backstage Academy, Production Park’s resident higher education institution.
DIT sector specialist for music, Phil Patterson, said, “The whole team in Austin running the British Music Embassy, led by Production Park, went way beyond expectations to deliver great shows night after night for the SXSW crowd. The DIT is immensely proud of the production which showcased the best of Britain to a global audience.”
BME executive producer P-C Rae said, “Having sent a number of acts over the years to SXSW myself, I am all too aware of the investment an artist and their team have to make to even get over to SXSW. So it is of paramount importance that after all that expense and effort that they have the best possible platform on which to perform and Production Park are the bedrock of that platform.”
Representatives from the wider Production Park team at SXSW included Jim Farmery (development director) and Chris Considine (XR Studios manager) from research and innovation centre XPLOR, as well as head of Backstage Academy Rachel Nicholson and Production Park sales director Karl Tempest-Mitchell.
Nicholson said, “The global work opportunities we offer our students are a vital part of their development as early career professionals – something we see them as from day one at Backstage Academy.”