LARGEUP EVENT: Austin Island at SxSW (3/17)

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LargeUp is bringing the U.S. Virgin Islands to Austin, on Thursday, March 17th, for South by Southwest 2016. Austin Island, our third annual SxSW showcase, will feature performances from the top names in Virgin Islands music, including R. City, Pressure Busspipe, Verse Simmonds and I Grade Dub, along with sounds from DJ Delano (Jamaica), Freaky Colectivo (Colombia), DJ Gravy (NYC) and Deejay Theory (Cali) and special guests TBA.

Headlining Austin Island, which will take place from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. CST at Bungalow (92 Rainey St. in Austin), is R. City, who recently topped the Billboard Pop Chart with their No. 1 single “Locked Away” featuring Adam Levine. A screening of What Dreams Are Made Of, a documentary about R. City’s journey from St. Thomas, which recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, will precede the show, at 6 p.m. CST followed by a Q+A with R. City’s Timothy and Theron Thomas.

The event, co-sponsored by the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, comes as the music industry in the U.S. Virgin Islands — St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas — is drawing increased international attention. Other showcasing acts include St. Thomas singer Pressure Busspipe, whose anthem “Virgin Islands Nice” inspired the U.S. Virgin Islands’ VI Nice campaign; Verse Simmonds, the Atlanta-based R&B singer and songwriter from St. Thomas who has worked with Rihanna, Kanye West, Jay-Z and Kelly Rowland; and I Grade Dub, the live dub project from St. Croix music producer and I Grade Records label head Laurent “Tippy I” Alfred. Support for the event also comes from the Austin Caribbean Cultural Exchange, a new organization which formed as a direct result of last year’s SxSW showcase.

“Artists from the Virgin Islands are producing some of the best music coming out of the Caribbean right now,” says Jesse Serwer, editorial director of LargeUp.com, and co-producer of Austin Island. “When you look at the success that R. City is having in the pop world, next to all of the great reggae music happening in St. Croix with I Grade Records, it really is unprecedented for such a small market.”

Keep it locked here for more details on Austin Island. For more VI niceness, check out LargeUp’s Virgin Islands Nice series, spotlighting music, life and culture in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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