SXSW Issues Statement: Not Leaving Austin, Hopes To Limit Some Unofficial Events

by / Comments Off on SXSW Issues Statement: Not Leaving Austin, Hopes To Limit Some Unofficial Events / 18 View / October 2, 2014



Earlier today, we posted an excerpt of an story from Texas Monthly that said the annual SXSW music and interactive festival could be making some drastic changes next year. Some of those changes would include eliminating unofficial showcases.

Earlier today, SXSW issued an official statement on the rumors that they would be instituting major changes to the festival in 2015.

Their statement reads:

We’ve been careful not to say anything that implies we’re trying to ban unofficial events because, even if we could, we wouldn’t try to do that. We totally get that unofficial events are part of the appeal of SXSW, though the line between “official” and “unofficial” can be hard to distinguish.

The Populous report is their expert assessment and opinion, not ours, and we agree with most of it, but not all of it. In our own statements we’ve been careful not to imply a threat to relocate SXSW, and have also explicitly stated that is not our position numerous times.

What we’re asking the City to do is put a limit on the number of permits issued for events that require temporary permits, based on location, capacity and infrastructure. The City did that for the first time this past year, and we think it was a common sense move that should be a standard procedure. Parts of 6th Street are severely overcrowded and can’t support more pop-up events. The majority of the unofficial events are in existing businesses and this would not affect them.

The most important part of what we’re asking for is a comprehensive safety plan that will include not just SXSW events, but every other significant activity downtown during our event. Marketing companies are fond of the tactic of keeping everything a secret until the last minute to avoid scrutiny. SXSW, the unofficial events, and the City all need transparency in order to plan for safety properly.

You can read the full story here 

Source: Stereogum