Here’s Happy’s picks for the six must-see NZ acts at SXSW Sydney

Will Swinton, Who Shot Scott and Foley are among the starry batch of NZ musicians poised to steal the spotlight at SXSW later this month.

As the first-ever edition of SXSW Sydney hotly approaches, we hope you’re all aware of the stellar batch of musicians set to grace the stage throughout the week-long festivities later this month.

Among an already stacked itinerary that extends to the worlds of tech, fashion, gaming and film, it’s SXSW’s music program that takes the cake. 

Set to host some 400 performances from October 15 to October 22, the music event already boasts its starriest lineup yet, with sets slated for both emerging acts like Caitlin Harnett & the Pony Boys and household names like BARKAA.

As if the schedule wasn’t stacked enough, SXSW has recently unveiled another batch of lineup entrants, this time hailing from the certified hit-maker that is New Zealand. 

With such a killer assortment of NZ talent, it can be tricky to nail down who exactly you should catch when SXSW overruns venues across the city this October.

So, Happy Mag has taken the guesswork out of your festival schedule by compiling our picks for the six must-see NZ acts poised to steal the spotlight at SXSW later this month. 


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This New Zealand portion is nestled within the broader SXSW music program, with the country’s biggest stars playing sets that run from October 18 to October 20.

Also included in the NZ showcase is an array of panels and talks, with full details available here. Scroll down for our full list of NZ picks, and head here to see the music program in full.

Will Swinton

Rightfully earning his ones-to-watch status, Will Swinton glides into SXSW fresh off the release of his 2023 single Leave In The Morning.

Prior to that, the Auckland singer has marked his arrival with consistent releases dating back to last year’s All For You, racking up thousands of streams and gracing magazine covers along the way. Be sure to catch Will Swinton’s showcase at SXSW on October 19. 

Will Swinton SXSW Sydney

Who Shot Scott

Alternative hip-hop musician Who Shot Scott will grace the SXSW stage on October 19, armed with a genre-bending catalogue that most recently includes the 2023 EP MERCY III.

The powerhouse act has earned a cult-like following in the years since his 2020 debut, and his explosive discography is sure to make a splash at SXSW.

Who Shot Scott SXSW Sydney
Credit: Jared Tinetti


“It’s going to be one for the ages,” Foley teased of their SXSW set, and with such a sprawling discography, we’re happy to take their word for it.

Alongside their emergence as one of NZ’s shinest exports, Foley are equipped with a fresh new album in August’s Crowd Pleaser, a title that also describes what’s sure to be a fan-favourite set at SXSW on October 20. 

Foley SXSW Sydney


Multi-instrumentalist Fazerdaze burst onto the scene with her 2017 debut Morningside, and has since proved her worthiness of the spotlight with the EP Break! and most recent single Bigger.

With such an enthralling blend of dreampop and shoegaze grunge, you’d be foolish to miss Fazerdaze’s performance as part of the NZ SXSW showcase. 

Fazerdaze SXSW Sydney


Indie-folk and diaristic lyricism comprise the work of Mousey, the Christchurch-hailing singer-songwriter whose 2019 debut Lemon Law was but a taste of what was to come.

Since then, Mousey has mesmerised audiences with 2021’s My Friends, which featured the chilling single My Hands Are Made of Glass. Mousey takes to the SXSW stage on October 19. 

Mousey SXSW Sydney


Among the swathe of musicians opening up the NZ showcase on October 18, Melodownz is more than just a rapper and visionary MC.

Alongside an extensive list of achievements — which includes four studio albums from Avontales to LONE WOLF — Melodownz has performed on the uber-popular Colours series, and captivating audiences with his razor-sharp poeticism.