South by Southwest (SXSW) is one of the biggest music and film festivals in the U.S. with an ever groing popularity. The 2014 edition of the Austin music festival will be even bigger with the addition of SXAméricas, a two-day event that will bridge the gap between Latin American SXSW participants with attendees working in the U.S. Latin market. “Business people, producers, managers and artists who reside in certain regions of Latin America don’t necessarily connect with U.S. Latinos. There is a cultural shift that needs to happen,” Alicia Zertuche, SXSW Latin Music Programmer, told Billboard. "We wanted to create SXAméricas in order to take projects to the next level. We are hoping it can translate into new business models for connecting U.S. and Latin America. [Latin] is no longer about niche markets. It is a trend across the United States.”

SXAméricas will take place on March 11 and 12 of 2014. Close to 90 bands from Latin America and Spain performed at SXSW in 2013, with bands like Mexico's Café Tacvba, Colombian superstar Juanes and Bajofondo from Argentina-Uruguay, having performed in the event previously. The Latino focused initiative will also include artists showcases and a panel that will be focused on the importance of the Latino community in the U.S. “There are bands who are used to performing in large venues in South America but that doesn’t translate into something significant as far as having a following here,” Zertuche told the publication. “They may be mainstream in their native country but they are not mainstream here. They may come with a perception that there are labels waiting to sign them and promoters waiting to book them on tour, but that is not necessarily the reality.”

SXSW will run from March 11 through March 16 in Austin and SXAméricas will take place during the day to not overlap with the rest of the festivities. The first round of programming for the music conference includes 85 sessions announced and more to come. Some of the sessions include, "Come On, Get Appy" organized by Jullian Stefanki from Facebook, "Defining Success In The Streaming World" with Graham James from Spotify, "Hip Hop: From Mixtapes To The Cloud" with Dan Dupree from Soundcloud and "John Williams To Pharrell Williams: Composers 2.0" from Rebecca Rienks from E! Entertainment. Checkout the lineup here and tell us what you think of this new this new initiative targeting Latinos.

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