First U.S. iTunes Festival At SXSW Kicks Off With Apple Execs In The Audience

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Yesterday, Apple kicked off its first iTunes Festival in the U.S. at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. A couple of Apple executives, including Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services Eddy Cue, were in attendance at the event’s opening night.

Jim Dalrymple writing for Fortune got a chance to speak with Cue before the concert began. Cue said:

“I wasn’t sure we would ever bring it to the US. We have something so special at the festival in London that you had the feeling that if you did it anywhere else, it just wasn’t going to be quite good enough. You have to have the right place. The combination of Austin, which has a culture of music, and this venue is fantastic — it’s made for music.”

Apple hosted the event in Austin’s Moody Theater, which only seats 2,750 people, as opposed to hosting it in a bigger stadium. The company does this to provide an intimate experience for both the fans and the artists. Cue said:

“We at Apple take a lot of pride in the festival because we have such admiration for what the artists do. If we can help, even a little bit, it feels damn good.”

Eddy Cue also took to Twitter to share his excitement about the event:

Cue was not the only Apple executive in the audience. Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller was also present for the opening night of the event, he tweeted, “iTunes Festival with London Grammar, Imagine Dragons and Coldplay live now!”

The iTunes Festival has been held at The Roundhouse in London since 2007, but last month Apple decided to bring the festival to the U.S. for the first time.

The event is being held from March 11 to 15 at ACL Live at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas as a part of SXSW 2014. Apple announced yesterday that it would be partnering with Vevo to expand the reach of the festival’s live stream.

The iTunes Festival at SXSW is available to stream via the official iTunes Festival iOS app, Vevo’s app on iPhone or iPad, through the iTunes Festival and Vevo channels on Apple TV, or through Safari on Mac OS X.