British Music Embassy announce London studio sessions

British Music Embassy Partner logos 2020

In support of the UK bands and artists that were set to perform at the recently cancelled South by Southwest (SXSW) conference, two closed-door studio sessions will be held at Production Park’s The Mill Studio in London on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 March. The sessions are supported by representatives from the British Music Embassy including the Association of Independent Music (AIM), the BPI, PPL, PRS for Music and PRS Foundation.

Bands and artists performing across the sessions include Aaron Smith, Arlo Parks, Bess Atwell, Liz Lawrence, Jordan Mackampa, Porridge Radio, Kokoroko and Steam Down, with more to be announced soon. Of those performing, five had received support from PRS Foundation, the UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development, to fly out and play at SXSW. In total, PRS Foundation were supporting more than 40 artists, bands and songwriters on their journey to this year’s SXSW via their International Showcase Fund and BBC Music Introducing partnership support.

The British Music Embassy is the official annual UK residency at SXSW, hosting a number of events and showcases throughout the conference. Previous performers include BRITS 2020 Rising Star Award winner Celeste, Hyundai Mercury Prize nominees Black Midi and BBC Sound of 2020 runners-up, Easy Life.

Following the official announcement on 6 March that the City of Austin has cancelled SXSW 2020, the music industry has banded together to find alternative platforms for those musicians who have been affected to get in front of an audience.

In solidarity with the organisers of SXSW, the British Music Embassy has decided to hold the London studio sessions behind closed doors, utilising radio and social media to broadcast the live performances to the wider music community, bringing some incredibly exciting new talent to the world stage.


Needless to say, we are absolutely devastated about the cancellation of SXSW – for music creators, for their teams and for SXSW itself. The knock-on impact that this, and all other event cancellations due to the coronavirus, may have on our industry is deeply concerning. All British Music Embassy partners are committed to showing their support for those that have taken a hit and it’s for this reason we have decided to host these sessions. Performing at SXSW can be a career-changing opportunity and we have to ensure it has not been entirely lost this year.

British Music Embassy Partners




We’re devastated for all the music creators due to attend this year’s SXSW. We know the 40+ artists and songwriters we are supporting through our International Showcase Fund and BBC Music Introducing and PRS Foundation showcase initiatives were set to reap the rewards of such a big opportunity, and we are supporting them to minimise the impact of the cancellation. We’re absolutely delighted the UK music industry has pulled together so quickly to create this platform and showcase opportunity as well as the many others around the UK such as in Wales at Clwb Ifor Bach and Gullivers in Manchester.

Joe Frankland, CEO, PRS Foundation

About PRS for Music

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

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