The BME Sessions
16 & 17 March
In support of the UK bands and artists that were set to perform at the recently cancelled South by Southwest (SXSW) conference, two closed-door studio sessions were held at Production Park’s The Mill Studio in London on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 March prior to Lockdown. The sessions are supported by representatives from the British Music Embassy including AIM, the BPI, PPL, PRS for Music and PRS Foundation.
Bands and artists performing across the sessions included Aaron Smith, Arlo Parks, Bess Atwell, Liz Lawrence, Jordan Mackampa, Porridge Radio, Kokoroko and Steam Down.
Of those performing, five had received support from PRS Foundation to fly out and play at SXSW. In total, PRS Foundation were supporting more than 40 artists, bands and songwriters on their journey to this year’s SXSW via their International Showcase Fund and BBC Music Introducing partnership support.
The British Music Embassy is the official annual UK residency at SXSW, hosting a number of events and showcases throughout the conference. Previous performers include BRITS 2020 Rising Star Award winner Celeste, Hyundai Mercury Prize nominees Black Midi and BBC Sound of 2020 runners-up, Easy Life.
Following the official announcement on 6 March that the City of Austin had cancelled SXSW 2020, the music industry banded together to find alternative platforms for those musicians who have been affected to get in front of an audience.
In solidarity with the organisers of SXSW, the British Music Embassy decided to hold the London studio sessions behind closed doors, utilising radio and social media to broadcast the live performances to the wider music community, bringing some incredibly exciting new talent to the world stage.
Photography by Thomas Jackson for TyneSight / The BME Sessions