The 3rd annual SXSW send-off for Irish musicians and entrepreneurs was hosted by the United States Embassy in their Phoenix Park Residence. The Creative Minds series was founded by recently departed Ambassador Kevin F. O’Malley to strengthen cultural ties between the United States and Ireland, and has previously featured Ben Folds, Andrew Bird, and John Prine among many others. Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy Reece Smyth has taken over hosting duties until a new Ambassador is appointed by President Trump.

The send-off featured a panel discussion of experienced SXSW attendees from both the music industry and startup community moderated by Jenny Huston in which they shared their experience and advice for SXSW first timers.

The panel discussion was followed by a performance by Ciaran Laverly, one of the outgoing attendees of this year’s festival.

The Irish delegation attending this year’s festival consist of 13 bands. There are seven bands from the Republic including: The Academic, A.S. Fanning, Birds of Olympus, Cloud Castle Lake, EMBRZ, Loah, and Picture This; and six bands from Northern Ireland: Ciaran Lavery, Jealous of the Birds, New Portals, Silences, Robocobra Quartet and Ryan Vail.