The South by Southwest festival finished a few months ago, and obviously it was a rousing success as usual. But this festival, once quite the upstart, has begun to take on more serious tones over the years.
This article is quite the reversal. For once, industry executives and major corporations are being portrayed as the “rebels” while the once-indie festival is starting to take on airs of oppression. In it, the author discusses how the private parties run by the major labels and companies like Ticketmaster are not sanctioned by the festival, and SXSW actually tries to get them shut down.
SXSW argues that this is because the parties take away from the festival.
“Roland Swenson, managing director of the festival’s parent corporation, SXSW Inc., says such corporate-backed, invitation-only parties threaten the “democratic” spirit of the annual affair. Such events are generally limited to a VIP list of invited guests. As a result, South by Southwest revelers who have paid up to $650 for access to all sanctioned “showcases” find themselves turned away from private events that also feature popular bands — and have their own corporate sponsors.”
Big corporations sponsor these private parties and usually throw them for free. That can let people who can’t afford to go to the festival actually see some of the big bands. I guess often these parties are for VIPs, but not always. Sometimes these “corporate parties” are the only way for people to see some of these bands.