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September 19, 2008

Cutting edge US technology conference and festival joins forces with Virtual Worlds Forum

The influential emerging technology conference and festival held annually in the US, South by Southwest Interactive, Film and Music & Media Festivals (SXSW), is bringing a taste of its events to the UK for the second year in a row in conjunction with Virtual Worlds Forum Europe 2008, in early October.

SXSW will be co-hosting the Virtual Worlds Forum opening party on Monday 6th October, between 6.30 and 8.30 pm. The venue will be Digress City, which is located in Moorgate, London. A total of 300 people are expected to attend the party, including representatives from the UK interactive, film, music and media industries, as well as a select number of speakers, sponsors and delegates attending the Virtual Worlds Forum.

Best known in the UK for the legendary music festival, SXSW annually attracts more than 13,000 music industry delegates and features 1,800 plus showcasing artists from around the globe. In 2008, more than 1,000 UK delegates made the annual pilgrimage to Austin, Texas, which has also featured many well-known British acts over the years, including Amy Winehouse, Duffy, the Darkness, Kaiser Chiefs, Lily Allen, Artic Monkeys, Joss Stone, Franz Ferdinand, Jamie Cullum, etc

However, SXSW also incorporates two other standalone festivals, SXSW Film and SXSW Interactive, which run at approximately the same time as the music festival. In 2008, more than 7,500 people attended SXSW Interactive, and once again the largest international presence outside of North America came from the UK.

Sasha Frieze, executive conference director Virtual Worlds Forum Europe, said there is significant crossover between the two organisations.

“We're delighted to be working with SXSW for the second time, especially after the success of last year's partnership,” she commented. “Both SXSW and Virtual Worlds Forum Europe share a love of exploring creative and digital innovation, as well as promoting new business opportunities through these kinds of networking events."

Meanwhile, Hugh Forrest, event director at SXSW Interactive, said: "We had a great event last year, so teaming up with Virtual Worlds Forum Europe 2008 again to stage an event in London makes perfect sense and helps us further engage actively with our European audience and community."

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