Music FestivalsNews

Artists Performing At SXSW Write Union Letter Demanding Higher Pay

In an open letter published by The Union of Musicians and Allied Workers, artists performing at SXSW have called for higher pay.

Over 120 artists on the bill at the Austin, Texas-based multimedia conference have asked the owner of SXSW company, Penske Media, to increase the minimum fee for playing at the festival.

The letter reveals, “For at least a decade, SXSW has offered its showcasing artists the same unjust compensation options: either take a wristband to attend the festival, or receive a one-time payment of $250 (or $100 for solo artists). International artists do not even have this choice, and are only offered a wristband with no possibility for compensation.”

These wages have been the same since 2012, despite rising application fees, tour costs, and inflation.

A list of requests in the union letter includes “increasing the pay to $750 for all performers, including a festival wristband for those performing, providing the same fee and wristband to domestic and international performers, and ending the application fee.”

While their own compensation package has not been revealed, past artists who have performed at the Austin Texas staple include Bob Moses and Gryffin in 2016, Kygo in 2022, ODESZA in 2015, and an OWSLA showcase in 2014.

Check out a video from the OWSLA showcase at SXSW in 2014 below:

Featured image from SXSW

Written by
Danielle Levy

Danielle Levy is currently enrolled in University of San Diego’s MBA program with a concentration in Corporate Social Responsibility. She is the cohort representative, VP of Student Organizations for the Graduate Student Business Association, and Director of Operations for Net Impact. Danielle has several years of experience in the sustainability education world and has held various positions in human resources and intern management. She also worked at a local coffee shop for about 2 years. Danielle is passionate about the ties between sustainability and social impact. She spent 8 years in colorguard, including 3 international competitive seasons.

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