The Barbados delegation recently returned from a highly successful mission to the South by SouthWest (SXSW) Music + Film Festival 2011. Led by CEO of Invest Barbados, Mr. Wayne Kirton, the delegation included Manager of the Indigenous Services Exports Division, Ms. Sophia Lewis, Business Development Officer, Mr. Neil Weekes, internationally recognised bands Nexcyx and Kite along with the group Threads of Scarlett and solo acts, Wesu, Phillip 7 and iNDRANi.
While this was Barbados’ second year in attendance, it was the first time for participation in the trade show segment of the festival. This forum proved to be an excellent opportunity as artistes were able to perform 15 minute showcases every hour within the Barbados booth. These performances attracted large crowds, media in the form of news crews and bloggers and led to several artistes’ interviews. From the booth, show attendees were also able to experience a taste of Barbados via several giveaways.
The Barbados team performed at various venues during the festival including two official SXSW showcases where the bands Kite and Nexcyx were featured.
In discussing the mission, Business Development Officer Neil Weekes stated that “One of Invest Barbados’ objectives in participating in SXSW was to expose Barbadian musicians to the scores of industry experts and executives that were at the event. We were approached by a number of people, whether independent, labels, producers, promoters, media. We have made some contacts, a lot who expressed interest in either the bands or the solo artistes and it is now for us and the management of those artistes to follow up the contacts and leads and try to make some inroads into further exposing our talent to the world.”