AustraliaHouse shines on debut at SXSW 2018

21 Mar 2018

Bringing together the best of Australian creativity and innovation, G’day USA’s collaboration with Sounds Australia was one of the breakout successes of this year’s SXSW. With regular queues snaking up Rainey St, the first-year initiative was the buzz of the festival as partners in the house collaborated to showcase Australia to the world. Nightlife provided the music and visual backbone for the house, working closely with Sounds Australia and the G’Day USA teams to feature more than 350 bands through a finely tuned soundtrack. The event also provided a great opportunity for us to showcase how our award-winning platform ensures artists get paid when their music is played in public.

Some of our highlights from the week-long celebration at one of the world’s biggest music festivals include:

Opening Night – crowdDJ® surfing anyone?

Bringing Aussie surf to Austin, Texas the opening night saw the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast broadcast live into AustraliaHouse on a series of large format LEDs, setting a great visual backdrop to the crowd sourced tunes via Nightlife’s crowdDJ® platform. The crowd was able to select songs from the library of Australian artists showcased on the crowdDJ® platform and our DJ was on hand to moderate the final soundtrack.

Australia House opening night
AustraliaHouse opening night with visuals from the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast on screens and a DJ on hand for the crowd-sourced soundtrack!

Food for the mind, body and soul

Through a series of panels, presentations and interactive sessions Australia’s best and brightest explored subjects spanning space tech and exporting innovation to the US, through to the future of film tech and of course Australia’s cultural and culinary riches. Standouts included: Hugh Jackman discussing the social entrepreneurial inspiration behind his coffee brand Laughing Man; Curtis Stone riffing with his US restaurant chain sommelier as they guided us through a wine and food tasting celebration; and a panel featuring our very own Stuart Watters, exploring the future of music tech and the intersection of social media and music.

Panels at Australia House
AustraliaHouse – Curtis Stone discussing wine and food and the panel exploring music tech with Nightlife’s Stu Watters.

Aussie Music – alive and well!

We can safely report that the Australian music scene is bursting with talent (and diversity) – with some of the most talked about bands of SXSW performing in AustraliaHouse – a nod to the great work Sounds Australia are doing in this space, along with companies like Future Classic, MGM, Our Golden Friends, Secret Sounds, BIGSOUND and JJJ Unearthed.

Highlights included: Teskey Brothers (of course) stopping traffic on Rainey Street with their performance on the front porch of AustraliaHouse with a follow up 45 minute reprise later that night to a jam-packed back stage gig; Gang of Youths’ passionate return to SXSW four years on – this time with just a little success under its belt 😉; the eclectic-electro energy of Alice Ivy; indie-pop up and comer G Flip from label Future Classic; and the laconic nu-pop act Lime Cordiale delivering their uniquely Australian irony laden licks (check out their Uncle and Aunt who drove interstate to come and see them – note they’ve dressed accordingly!).

Gang of Youths, Ruby Boots and Lime Cordiale (with their aunt and uncle!)
Gang of Youths, Ruby Boots and Lime Cordiale (with their aunt and uncle in lime shirts!)
The Money War, Small Island Big Song and The Teskey Brothers
The Money War, Small Island Big Song and The Teskey Brothers.

Thanks for coming

A huge thank you goes to the G’day USA crew and the Australian government for supporting AustraliaHouse, not just from a funding point of view but also through the presence of its teams. Notable attendees from the Australian Consulate included the Deputy Ambassador to the US Katrina Cooper, Consul Generals Chelsea Martin (LA) and Peter McGauran (Houston) as well as other high-ranking trade and diplomatic staff. This level of engagement between industry and government bodes well for the future success of Australian Music and Tech export, with Ms Cooper widely endorsing the AustraliaHouse initiative and signalling her intention to advise government that the concept should continue into the future.

Long live the House!