TGTF Guide to SXSW 2018: this year’s recommended keynotes and speakers

By on Monday, 5th March 2018 at 11:00 am
 

Each year, SXSW brings in an awe-inspiring list of industry speakers to take part in its Conference sessions. 2018 is no exception. In a month and a half, there will be an impressive crop of industry leaders, luminaries and artists you can hear speak in Austin as part of the Music, Interactive, Film and Convergence portions of the conference. Below is just a small selection of what’s on offer.

Daniel Glass (Thursday, 15 March, 5:00 PM, Music Industry; pictured at top) – Daniel Glass might not be a name you recognise, but the international artists whose careers he helped launched here in the States definitely will be. Through his record label Glassnote Records, Two Door Cinema Club, Phoenix, Mumford and Sons and many more acts were able to break America. Started as an independent company after Glass left the corporate world, his insights on how to survive, stay passionate and rise above as a little fish in a big pond will no doubt be enlightening. Joining Glass will be Aryeh Bourkoff of dealmakers Liontree.

Jose Andres and Andrew Zimmern (Monday, 12 March, 3:30 to 4:30 PM, Food) – Okay, so this isn’t conference sessions isn’t music related all. But if you follow me on Instagram, you know how much of a foodie I am, and Jose Andres is a major celebrity in the Washington, DC area. More recently, he has been prominently involved in helping to feed the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the California wildfires and mobilising fellow chefs in the efforts. Andrew Zimmern is known the world over as the host of the tv programme Bizarre Foods, where he’s gone all over and eaten some pretty, er, unusual grub, shall we say. It’s easy to forget that outside his wacky Bizarre Foods persona, he’s a James Beard award winner, chef, educator and all around encyclopedia about food.

Keith Urban (Friday, 16 March, 12:30 PM, Music Culture & Stories) – As big of an industry American country music is here, I have to admit it’s not a genre I rate and we’ve pretty much overlooked it in our coverage on TGTF. If you are curious how “the other half lives”, you can do so by listening to Keith Urban’s talk about his career that has led to a bewildering 22 #1 hits and multiple Grammys, American Country Music Association Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards.

Kim Deal and Steve Albini (Wednesday, 14 March, 5 PM, Music Culture & Stories) – Kim Deal was as the original bassist for The Pixies and singer and guitarist of The Breeders with her sister Kelly. Kim Deal will sure to say plenty to say about breaking the mould of rock and into grunge and alternative rock. Steve Albini appeared as the keynote speaker at Output Belfast 2016. In Austin, Albini will be providing his perspective on alt-rock from the producer’s side of things.

Lyor Cohen (Wednesday, 14 March, 11 AM, Music Industry) – Lyor Cohen is the Global Head of Music at YouTube and Google, overseeing domestic and international music partnerships and artist and label relations for his companies. He is also a founder of 300, a record label with an eclectic roster of up-and-coming artists. Prior to his current positions, Cohen was the Chairman and CEO of Recorded Music for Warner Music Group, having a big part in launching the careers of The Killers, Ed Sheeran, The Black Keys and many more successful artists of today.

Melinda Gates (Sunday, 11 March, 2:00 PM, Interactive) – Bill’s better half will be moderating a panel talk entitled, “The Company We Keep”, which is expected to include innovators of technology, new business models and new social movements. They will discuss how these new developments have led to changes in how companies run their workplaces and have fostered inclusive environments and creativity.

Sadiq Khan (Monday, 12 March, 2:00 PM, Convergence) – Sadiq Khan may be the first Muslim to serve as the mayor of a major Western capital, but he’s become more famous as the strong, stoic leader of London in the face of some of Britain’s most challenging times in recent memory. As a Keynote Speaker, he will no doubt be speaking about London Town’s special position as a hotbed for technological innovation, a launching pad for startups and the home of some of the world’s biggest companies.

Wendy Williams (Saturday, 17 March, 12:30 PM, Music Culture & Stories) – Now known for her popular daytime talk show, Wendy Williams is also an entrepreneur, media mogul, actor, comedian and best-selling author. She also has over 2 decades’ experience in radio. Williams will discuss her rise to success and the importance of female empowerment in the entertainment industry.

As always, the schedule of events at SXSW 2018 is subject to change. For the most up-to-date information about the entire festival, including the music conference and the lineup of showcasing artists, you can consult the official schedule here. TGTF’s ongoing preview coverage of SXSW 2018 is collected here.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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