Plug pulled on Hackney’s SXSW tech trade venue

Hackney Town Hall, of Mare Street.

Hackney Town Hall, of Mare Street. - Credit: Archant

Hackney Council has pulled the plug on its venue at the Texan South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) festival at the last minute, after failing to raise enough sponsorship cash.

The council was due to host “Hackney House Austin” for a third year running at the US trade show to promote the creative, tech and design companies around Old Street’s Silicon roundabout.

SXSW Interactive, which starts on Friday March 13 is billed as “the place to preview the technology of tomorrow today”.

A spokesman for the council said: “We are disappointed to confirm that for 2015, Hackney House Austin will not be taking place.

“This is due to a short-fall in funding, despite the offer of time and sponsorship by a number of generous Hackney businesses and partners.

“Over the last two years, Hackney House Austin generated an estimated £18m of investment from a range of businesses whilst enabling the borough to forge close working relationships with Austin and the Norwegian capital Oslo that was celebrated last year with Oslo meets Hackney 14’, which for the second year running saw an industry delegation from Oslo host a number of events in Hackney in December 14’.”

Sponsorship for the venue last year came from big companies like British Airways, Stella Artois, Absolut, the V&A and Nordic Connection, and more than 30 businesses based in Hackney used the venue to showcase their products and services, meet new contacts and generate business.