Earlier this year, our Production Park team ventured to SXSW (South by Southwest), which took place in Austin, Texas, where they powered the British Music Embassy (BME), providing unrivalled live music production for burgeoning British musicians.

Participating alongside a variety of industry partners and in collaboration with BBC Music Introducing Live and the Department for International Trade, the team was responsible for delivering all aspects of the show – including upgrading and operating the lighting, sound and video, supplying all backline, and full stage operation - running throughout the 70 scheduled performances over 7 days, in the 700 capacity Cedar Street Courtyard.

Moonchild Sanelly on the BME Stage
Moonchild Sanelly on the BME Stage

Commenting on the pivotal role played by the Production Park team, the DIT’s Sector Specialist for Music, Phil Patterson, said:

"The whole team in Austin running the British Music Embassy, led by Production Park, went way beyond expectations to deliver great shows night after night for the SXSW crowd. The Department for International Trade (DIT) is immensely proud of the production which showcased the best of Britain to a global audience.”

P-C Rae, Executive Producer of the BME said: 

“Having sent a number of acts over the years to SXSW myself, I am all too aware of the investment an artist and their team have to make to even get over to SXSW. So it is of paramount importance that after all that expense and effort that they have the best possible platform on which to perform and Production Park are the bedrock of that platform. Brent Grulke, who for many years was the head of the SXSW music festival, once described BME as the Gold Standard for international showcasing and that is what we all continue to aspire to today.”
Yard Act on the BME Stage
Yard Act on the BME Stage

SXSW’s in-person return this year marked the 10th time the BME was run by Production Park. One of the largest festivals of its kind – presenting parallel film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences – SXSW provided the perfect opportunity to promote the skills and capabilities forged on Production Park, which is recognised as the UK’s premier campus for live events, film, TV and virtual production.

The BME team was led by Ant Forbes (Production Manager) and Sam Wilkinson (Stage Manager), both from Production Park. It also included Bradley Nicholson, a third year BA (Hons) Live Events Production student at Backstage Academy, Production Park’s resident higher education institution. Bradley was given the opportunity to join the team as part of the hands-on experience students are given whilst studying at the Academy.

BA (Hons) Live Events Production student Bradley Nicholson, Lighting Operator for the BME Stage
BA (Hons) Live Events Production student Bradley Nicholson, Lighting Operator for the BME Stage
“The global work opportunities we offer our students are a vital part of their development as early career professionals – something we see them as from day one at Backstage Academy. Alongside the industry-leading equipment, facilities and teaching they benefit from during their studies, real life work experience ensures our students’ careers get going before they even graduate”

added Rachel Nicholson, Head of Backstage Academy.

Calva Louise on the BME Stage
Calva Louise on the BME Stage

Representatives from the wider Production Park team at SXSW included Jim Farmery (Development Director) and Chris Considine (XR Studios Manager) from XPLOR – the world’s first research and innovation centre for entertainment technology and production, as well as Rachel Nicholson from Backstage Academy, and Production Park’s Sales Director, Karl Tempest-Mitchell.

Production Park’s BME brand partners at SXSW included Allen & HeathShure UKMarshall AmplificationNatal Drums, Ashdown Engineering, Ivison Guitars & Martin Professional.