Aussies In Focus

The Great Escape festival in Brighton, UK, (May 13-15) has chosen Australia as its focus country this year.

Australian High Commissioner to the UK John Dauth threw a party for 200 UK music executives to announce the news.

Sarah Blasko, Eskimo Joe, Art vs. Science, Paul Dempsey, Philadelphia Grand Jury and Teenagers in Tokyo will be among those participating in the Australia showcase.

The Australian government has for the past four years marked The Great Escape as one of the global events to get its acts before tastemakers.

It uses its export body Austrade and global marketing initiative Sounds Australia.

The two bodies were also working the rooms at South By Southwest. Forty Aussie acts played at the Austin, Texas, event —the third-largest representation by a country, behind the UK with 119 and Canada with 111.

More than 250 Aussies applied to play, reports the meet’s Sydney-based Australian/New Zealand/ Hawaiian rep, Phil Tripp.

Fifty-eight were chosen, 29 took up on the offer, while a further 11 did some guerilla marketing and performances on their own.