With just over 2 weeks to go until the annual SXSW tornado arrives here in Austin, it is time for a wee look at who will be representing Scotland this year. Right now we have 11 Scottish music acts confirmed as well as 3 films and an SDI event.

My first SXSW was in 1996 when I was an exchange student from Edinburgh at the University of Texas. I was back in Austin for SXSW in 1999 and since 2003 I’ve been almost every year. Of course it helps that I have been living in Austin since 2010.

Anyway, to continue with the Scots at SXSW context, back in 2003 there was one Scottish band, Idlewild, at the festival. The following year I helped to organize a late night party for 5 or 6 Scottish bands. It was branded as the ‘Scottish Invasion’, and that was also the year that Franz Ferdinand ‘blew up‘ off the back of their SXSW shows. Since then there has been a strong Scottish presence at every SXSW, and this year is no different.

What has also been noticeable is the growing involvement of Scots at the Film and Interactive portion of the festival. In the past couple of years we’ve had films like ‘You Instead‘ and ‘The Great Hip Hop Hoax‘ premiere at SXSW and SDI (Scottish Development International) are now assisting several Scottish start-ups to attend SXSW Interactive.

This year Creative Scotland have announced that they have funded six acts to attend SXSW Music and by my count there are 5 other Scottish acts who will also be here on their own ‘dime’ as they say over here. There will also be 3 films that have a Scottish connection and another SDI event during Interactive. Here is the latest list of this year’s Scottish Invaders:


Cairn String Quartet @CairnQuartet

Casual Sex @CasualSexBand

Holy Esque @HolyEsque

Honeyblood @yumhoneyblood

Meursault @meursaultmusic

Nina Nesbitt @NinaNesbittBE

Prides @pridesband

Saor Patrol @saorpatrol

We Were Promised Jetpacks @wwpj

Withered Hand @witheredhand

Young Fathers @Youngfathers

The following acts were previously announced but do not appear on the current schedule: Rustie, Paws, Twin Atlantic, The Xcerts.

The Main Event for fans of Scottish music will likely be on the night of Friday March 14 at Latitude 30 (aka the British Music Embassy) where you can see Withered Hand, Meursault, Casual Sex, Honeyblood, The Jetpacks, and Young Fathers all on one bill.

Here is a link to all of the official shows for Scottish acts.


For Those in Peril @FTIPfilm (Set in a remote Scottish community)

God Help The Girl @godhelpthegirl (Stuart Murdoch’s film)

The Possibilities are Endless @EdwynFilm (About Edwyn Collins’ recovery)


Meet some of Scotland’s most innovative companies at try a wee dram of whisky at A Taste of Scotland hosted by SDI.



As always schedules are likely to change in the next few weeks. I’ll try and keep this page updated but if anyone has any questions feel free to email me here or connect on twitter at @dearscotland.

Oh and we’ll have an interview with the amazing Casual Sex tomorrow.

In the meantime, here is a video I just found on my phone of Frightened Rabbit last year, and some videos from previous years.



Frightened Rabbit at SXSW 2013


King Creosote and Kid Canaveral – And Another Thing, SXSW 2011


Highlights of Scottish Artists at SXSW 2010