PRESS RELEASE:  The 28th annual South By Southwest Music Conference and Festival commences Tuesday, March 11 and runs through Sunday, March 16. In what has become an annual milestone for the music world, an estimated 25,000 convention attendees and thousands of performing musicians will journey to Austin, Texas, to immerse themselves in every aspect of the music business. By day, over 200 conference sessions will provide rare glimpses into the business acumen of notable industry professionals who have successfully navigated the music world for many years. By night, 2,200 artists will perform for industry professionals and fans alike. New additions this year to the conference programming include the SXSW Music Hackathon Championship, SXAméricas and new components to the Music Gear Expo.

The 2014 SXSW Music Conference is the core component of the event, and covers business and creative issues in music. Highlighted speakers this year include Neil Young, Jarvis Cocker, Sean “Diddy” Combs, St Vincent, Blondie, CeeLo Green, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Russell Simmons, Melissa Etheridge, George Clinton, Damon Wayans, Laura Jane Grace, Sharon Needles, Booker T, Mike Shinoda, James Williamson, Buzz Osborne, Cortez Bryant, Bob Mould, Rodney Crowell, and Suzanne Vega. Panels of interest will include “It’s Only Rock & Roll: Fifty Years of the Rolling Stones,” ” Packed with Electronic Beats: Africa’s Next Music Coming To America,” “Build Your Business in the UK,” “Memphis Means Music,” “Has Metal Lost Its Edge?,” “Women Who Conquered the Music Business,” and “The Bartholomew Family: Three Generations of New Orleans.”

New this year is the first annual SXSW Music Hackathon Championship, presented by AT&T U-verse with GigaPower, where world-class hackers and designers will have 24 hours to create new tech innovations in the music space for artists, industry, and fans. The SXSW Music Hackathon will take place over a 24-hour period beginning at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 12th until 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 13th at the Hilton Austin Downtown, with the Championship Awards Show to follow on Friday, March 14th at Base (formerly La Zona Rosa). Using their programming know-how and our collection of music-tech APIs, teams will compete for the AT&T Grand Prize of $10,000 plus a grand prize package; 2nd prize of $2,500 and 3rd prize of $1,000. Judges will include Shawn Fanning (founder of Napster and Destroyer), Ian Rogers (CEO of Beats Music), Alex Ebert (frontman for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), Jermaine “Mack Maine” Preyan (rapper and President of Young Money Ent.), and Stephen White (President of Gracenote). The Music Hackathon Championship is proudly presented by AT&T U-verse with GigaPower, with further sponsorship and API support from Tech Open Air Berlin, Beats Music, Warner Music Group, Senzari, Spotify, Gracenote, Rdio, Choose Digital, The Echo Nest and more. Produced in coordination with Travis Laurendine of CODEMKRS. To participate in the first ever SXSW Music Hackathon Championship, please RSVP at http://sxsw.com/music/hackathon.

Also new this year is SXAméricas, a series of events geared toward connecting U.S. Latino and Latin American technology, music, and film industry thought leaders. SXAméricas will serve as the launch pad to network, share innovative ideas, and create new partnerships across all creative industries from North America, South America, Spain, and Central America. This first year will feature an Opening Party sponsored by SBS Radio & Aire Radio Networks with opening remarks by Diego Luna. The following day will feature a SXSW Interview with Ana Tijoux and a Featured Speaker Session TBD. As well, registrants may participate in business roundtable discussions with 100 influencers and industry leaders sharing innovative ideas. Throughout the day in the Austin Convention Center and into the night at the nighttime showcases, performances will be presented by Ely Guerra, Federico Aubele, Porter, Illya Kuryaki & The Valderamas, and LosPetiteFellas.

The Music Gear Expo featuring 2 new additions, will run Thursday, March 13 – Saturday, March 15 from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5, next door to the popular Flatstock Poster Show. With the additions of the Gear Expo Store run by Strait Music and the Gear Expo Lounge, the Expo has become a destination for musicians, buyers, gear and tech aficionados.  Two new features this year are The Shred Shed Presented by Paul Reed Smith Guitars which lets players turn it up to “11” in two isolation booths stocked with PRS guitars and amps and The Deli’s Stompbox Exhibit at SXSW (presented by Guitar World) showcasing hundreds of pedals from the top manufacturers. Exhibitors at this year’s Music Gear Expo include Apogee Electronics, Casio, Craviotto Drums, Hammond and lots of guitars: Taylor, Santa Cruz, Born Custom Guitars, James Trussart Guitars, Panama and Bohemian. A complete list of participants can be found at http://www.sxsw.com/trade-shows/gear/exhibitors.

Rounding out SXSW Music is, of course, the world famous music festival. A small sampling of the performances will include Damon Albarn, Gary Numan, Childish Gambino, Blondie, London Grammar, Foster The People, X, Coldplay, Ana Tijoux, HyunA, Keith Urban, Perfect Pussy, Kelis, ZEDD, The Kooks, The 1975, Melissa Etheridge, Boys Noize, Kylesa, Asher Roth, Pharcyde, Suzanne Vega, Warpaint, Lucinda Williams, Washed Out, The Hold Steady, Dum Dum Girls, Spandau Ballet, Little Dragon, Tensnake, MS MR, A-Trak, Mark Kozelek, Against Me!, Bob Mould, Wolf Alice, INVSN, together PANGEA, Nano Stern, Juan Perro, Lori Meyers, and Wanda Jackson.

For more information on every aspect of SXSW or to register for the conference, please access their website.

SXSW Music 2014 is sponsored by Miller Lite, Sonicbids, Monster Energy, Esurance, Chevrolet, AT&T, IFC, Subway and The Austin Chronicle.

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