This year, Bowers & Wilkins partnered with the British Music Embassy (BME) to support a weeklong showcase of the UK’s hottest emerging artists at the world-renowned SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, with all live performances powered by the one-of-a-kind Bowers & Wilkins Sound System.
After 15 years of running, the British Music Embassy remains one of the hottest tickets at SXSW, with a proven track record of bringing British artists to an international audience before their profiles soar. For example, last year, there were four Mercury Prize-shortlisted artists on stage, as well as the award-winning Wet Leg, who packed out the BME venue.
Breaking new ground
The partnership with the BME reinforced our commitment to supporting and championing emerging music talent while also helping them break new ground, reaching an international audience during SXSW.
We understand how important it is for an artist’s music to be represented exactly as they intended it to be heard. Therefore, to ensure that the True Sound of every artist’s performance was accurately reproduced throughout the BME, we deployed the Bowers & Wilkins Sound System, our one-of-a-kind, high-performance PA system, to power all of the live performances. The result: sound quality, realism and detail of a hi-fi and studio monitor speaker, scaled up for bigger, live music events.
A masterclass in talent
As you can imagine, there was no shortage of exceptional talent on display at this year’s showcase. Those in attendance were treated to over 60 outstanding live performances from the likes of Low Island, Max Cooper, Samm Henshaw, Obongjayar, Red Rum Club, Bellah, Yazmin Lacey, SIPHO., Crawlers, Tamzene, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Sports Team and many more, who all delivered a variety of unique sounds, from a wide range of genres, that truly demonstrated just how dynamic and adaptable the Bowers & Wilkins Sound System really is.
Additionally, festivalgoers enjoyed an energetic live show from Balming Tiger, the South Korean musical collective who were crowned winners of SXSW’s prestigious Grulke Prize for Developing Non-U.S. Act. Of course, this performance was powered by our very own state-of-the-art PA system.
A Sound System like no other
Unlike traditional PA systems, which are typically designed to simply fill large spaces with high-volume sound, the Bowers & Wilkins Sound System follows the same industry-leading engineering philosophy behind all our audio systems – delivering True Sound, allowing you to hear exactly what the artist behind the music wants you to hear. The perfect system for up-and-coming and established artists to exhibit their unique identities.
Bowers & Wilkins’ team of world-class audio engineers worked over a nine-month project to painstakingly update and upgrade Sound System to provide a more rewarding sound experience for live audiences. The British Music Embassy, which is led by the Department of International Trade and some of the UK’s leading music associations, saw the Sound System make its first public appearance in over five years, following its previous deployment at some of the world’s leading music festivals such as Primavera Sound and WOMAD.
More to come
As proud advocates for spotlighting talented emerging artists, we certainly won’t forget our BME experience at SXSW any time soon – and we’re sure, if you were there, you won’t either. Although this is just the first event of 2023 to feature the Bowers & Wilkins Sound System, we have some exciting Sound System appearances planned for the rest of the year. So, stay tuned.