June 16, 2024

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SXSW Raises Rates for Performing Musicians

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SXSW Raises Rates for Performing Musicians

South by Southwest has increased the rates paid to domestic artists performing at the annual festival in Austin by 40-50%, following a petition and rally demanding higher pay.

The 2024 event artist application, which opened Tuesday, outlines that solo artists performing at SXSW will receive $150 — a $50 rate increase from previous years. Bands will now be paid $350 rather than the previous rate of $250. As in years prior, international artists will not receive financial compensation.

Also consistent with previous years, domestic artists playing SXSW must choose to take a monetary payment, or receive an artist credential that includes primary access to all music-related events, artist-only amenities including special rates on hotels, meals and drinks and artist networking space, and secondary access to film and television related programming.

SXSW charges an all acts an application fee, which is $35 until Aug. 25 and then $55 until applications close on Oct. 27.

“Our purpose at SXSW is to help creative people achieve their goals,” said SXSW’s vp of music festival James Minor in a statement. “As an industry event, showcasing at SXSW provides indispensable networking, mentoring, and career development opportunities that are not a part of standard consumer-focused festivals.

“Artists continue to make connections at SXSW that further their careers, and it is essential for us to provide opportunities that make the most impact in supporting the thousands of artists who come to Austin every March.”

In April 2021, Penske Media Corporation, which owns Billboardbecame an investor in SXSW by taking a 50% stake in the conference and festival.

The rate increase comes follows an artist-led petition from earlier this year that urged SXSW to increase compensation for musicians playing the festival. Published by the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW), the petition was signed by more than 400 artists including Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors, DIIV, Eve 6Mountain GoatsJeremy MessersmithSpeedy OrtizZola JesusPedro the LionYACHT and Emperor X, along with the Songwriters of North America (SoNA). On May 31, the organization led a rally outside Penske Media Corporation’s New York offices.

As reported by Texas Public Radio, during a Parks and Recreation Board meeting in Austin on Monday, Pat Buchta, the head of nonprofit Austin Texas Musicians, remarked on the rate increase, saying “Respectfully, is that enough? Our musicians do not think so, and musician input is the one thing that everybody seems to be missing in this conversation.”

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