SXSW Scouting Local Talent for Upcoming Festival

July 31, 2017, 11:00 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 4:40 PM
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South by Southwest Conference and Festivals (SXSW) is scouting for talent on Hawai‘i Island for its upcoming event in Austin, Texas from March 9 to 18, 2018. SXSWʻs Senior Regional Development Manager, Phil Tripp, will hold two meetings–one in Hilo at the Grand Naniloa on Aug. 16 and one in Kona at the Sheraton Keauhou on Aug. 21. SXSW is seeking tech, marketing, gaming, film, music, comedy talent and others.

“We’re looking for contemporary musicians and bands to enter our 2000 showcase program March 13 to 18, filmmakers to submit for juried screenings March 9 to 17, and interactive multimedia developers, imagineers, start-ups, internet/app/software entrepreneurs, gamers, venture capitalists, advertising and marketing pros, incubators and coders to join other propeller-heads from more than 60 countries March 9 to 14,” said Tripp. “Our three major Festivals and Conference are a great opportunity for Hawaiians to network, broaden contacts and show their wares to an eager audience of global delegates.”

Hawai‘i’s first showcased artist at SXSW was HAPA in the late 1990s. So far, the largest presence of Hawaiian music at SXSW was in 2009 when John Cruz, Anuhea, David Tamaoka, Pimpbot and One Right Turn played a series of showcases. In 2010, Anuhea & The Green and Pimpbot returned with Kona, Tavana, Sabrina and Yahiowa 13. The event also featured a trade fair stand organized by World Sound/One Hawai‘i and supported by Roy’s Restaurants and the state Department of Business, Economic development and Tourism (DBEDT).

In the last few years, Hawai‘i attendees have begun to shift to represent SXSWʻs evolution toward technology, creative content and film. These have included Occupop, Hawaiian International Film Festival, POW!WOW!, Lux, Wremix, University of Hawai‘i, Maui County Film Office, Hawaiian Electric, Kamehameha Schools, Servco, Maui County Film Office, Makaha Studios and WorldSound.

“Hawai‘i has developed its own unique base of online and technological hubs—Silicon Islands, if you will—which are creating new applications, high tech businesses and creative talent that promise to eclipse the former agricultural exports base of revenue,” said Tripp. “Supplanting the sugar, pineapple and mac nut, brainpower is the renewable and sustainable export of Hawai‘i’s future as its inventions and tech trends, plus its bounty of films and TV facilities.”


There is no charge to attend the scheduled meetings in Hilo and Kona, but attendees must RSVP as space is limited. Interested parties may RSVP by emailing [email protected] or texting (512) 669-3321. For more information, visit


Hawai‘i Island meeting dates/locations:

  • Aug. 16, 2017, 6 to 8 p.m.: Hilo Naniloa Grand Hotel – 93 Banyan Drive
  • Aug. 21, 2017, 6 to 8 p.m.: Kona Sheraton Keauhou – 78-128 Ehukai Street,

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