Austin musicians strategize to demand the first SXSW pay increase in "at least a decade"
Austin musicians plan to push for better pay for artists performing at South by Southwest (SXSW).
The nonprofit Austin Texas Musicians, the Austin Federation of Musicians, and the United Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) are supporting an Austin Parks and Recreation Board recommendation to the city council. The groups say the recommendation would cancel public use contracts with SXSW unless they pay musicians fairly.
In February, the UMAW sent a letter to SXSW, stating that, for at least a decade, the festival has offered its showcasing artists either a one-time payment of $250 – $100 for solo artists – or a wristband to attend the festival. According to the letter, international artists don't have that choice and are only offered a wristband with no possibility for compensation.
According to an analysis put out by the festival, the economic impact SXSW had in Austin totaled $280.7 million in 2022.
"The goal is getting artist higher payments from the festival [that] brings in millions and millions of dollars," Joey DeFrancesco, an organizer UMAW, told KVUE in February.
When KVUE reached out to SXSW about the concerns earlier, the festival said it was reviewing its policy.
Read the full story and watch the video at KVUE.com.