SxSW and The Indie Vibe

SxSW and The Indie Vibe

“As South By Southwest shuttered its 28th year Sunday, participants debated the growing corporate influence on the conference. Critics say SXSW has evolved past its core mission: to help new bands get discovered. Instead, they say, the media focus has shifted to already-established stars such as Jay Z, Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, CeeLo Green, Rick Ross, Keith Urban and many more whose heavily promoted appearances are underwritten by international brands.

It’s poor vs. the 1 percent in miniature, and this change in vibe is relatively new. Even those who’ve found the spotlight before say it’s getting harder to break through.”

— “Has SXSW Sold-Out, Lost Sight of Its Mission?” Chris Talbott, Associated Press via Billboard

“It was, in a way, the income-inequality debate carried into the realm of attention: The tiny fraction of a percentage of performers who have made it big were grabbing even more exposure away from the struggling majority.”

“Big Money Upends a Festival,” Jon Pareles, New York Times


“Cool Musicians And Bands Say SXSW Is Now A ‘Corporate Gang-Bang,'” Brandon Martinez, Business Insider

“Lady Gaga gives mixed message at SXSW about corporate interference,” Tim Jonze, The Guardian


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Image (“Washington Crossing Town Lake, after Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze)”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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