Brits set to invade giant US festival

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Sheffield band the Crookes and the organisers of Doc/Fest and Tramlines are joining a mission to the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, to boost the North’s creative sector on a global stage.

More than 30 delegates from across the North will attend the nine-day music, film and game festival to network, find new acts, raise awareness and - for some - get signed.

The trip is being organised by the government’s export organisation UKTI.

Kate Hewett, marketing and programming director for Tramlines, said SXSW was “vital” to making international links to boost the event.

She added: “With 2015 having been our biggest year yet, the timing is ideal for us to raise awareness of the event internationally.

“We see it as a vital means of making international links and expanding the reach of Tramlines so that we can continue to make it a more sustainable event in the long-term.

“We’re excited to take advantage of the unparalleled range of breaking artist showcases to help us shape our future line-ups.”

Doc/Fest attracts more than 30,000 documentary makers and lovers including 3,500 industry delegates from more than 60 countries. Mark Atkin, curator, Alternate Realities for Sheffield Doc/Fest, said SXSW was a great place to find speakers and projects to help maintain its reputation “as the UK’s most cutting edge media event.”

As well as performing at the festival, bands including the Crookes will have the chance to play the British Music Embassy, a music venue on San Jacinto Boulevard and the hub of all British music activity at SXSW.

Mark Robson, UKTI director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The music, film and interactive sectors are increasingly important contributors to the economic well-being of the Northern Powerhouse region and this mission allows us to showcase the burgeoning talent in those areas to a global audience at SXSW as the world’s premier event for creativity.”

Those attending can apply for a £650 grant. Call 01226 720 789 to attend.