Keith Urban Chosen As Featured Speaker At SXSW 2018 Festival

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Keith Urban photo by Jason Kempin and Getty Images for St. Jude
Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for St. Jude

Keith Urban has been invited to speak at the 2018 South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas. The country singer will appear under the festival’s Music Culture and Stories banner.

The long-running South by Southwest event gathers influential figures from music, film, technology and more, and in 2018 will be held from 9 March through to 18 March. Last year, Garth Brooks delivered the keynote music talk and also performed a set. Keith Urban last took the stage at SXSW in 2014.

Other featured speakers are expert in a diverse array of topics. Comedian and TV personality W. Kamau Bell, the host of CNN’s United Shades of America, designer Yiying Lu and New York Times best-selling author Luvvie Ajayi are among those presenting.

SXSW featured speakers are generally storytellers, creative visionaries and change-makers in the industry — Stevie Nicks, Elvis Costello, Ray Davies, Blondie and Mick Fleetwood have spoken in years past.

“Some of the world’s most imaginative thinkers are part of today’s announcement,” says Hugh Forrest, SXSW Chief Programming Officer. “These innovative speakers cover the depth and breadth of SXSW content, enhancing our standing as the foremost destination for creative people to gain the practical tools and outside-of-the-box inspiration to achieve their goals.”

Registration for attendance at the SXSW Festival begins on 20 October 2017. More speakers are due to be announced in November.

Elsewhere, Keith Urban has also been added to the line-up for the Country Rising benefit concert scheduled for 12 November at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The all-star show, including Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Chris Stapleton and more, raises funds for hurricane relief and the victims of the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest tragedy.

Country Rising is just one of a number of initiatives from within the country music community to help those affected by 2017’s devastating hurricanes. Lady Antebellum recently donated $200,000 to relief efforts (after donating merchandise proceeds from a show in Dallas around the time of Hurricane Harvey), while George Strait organized a benefit show in San Antonio.

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