Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Journalists Observe Mainstreaming
and Corporate Presence at SXSW

It would seem that ever dispatch from South by Southwest takes a moment to report on the festival's mainstream and corporate presence, creating an environment where undiscovered bands will not be discovered.

NPR reports on the financial challenges of bands and fans attending the festival, featuring an interview with LA's The Mae Shi.

MTV observes:
Those purists - the South By vets who remember the good old days, when bands came to Austin looking for that elusive record deal, and when every event wasn't sponsored by a mobile device -- were probably going out of their heads on Saturday, 24 hours dominated by globally successful rapper/producers, celebrity bloggers and toothsome TV chefs. It was SXSW gone Hollywood - parties by Rachael Ray and Perez Hilton, even rumored Robert Pattinson sightings - and, to be honest, [Kanye] West's showcase should've been the least of their worries.
Bin Sisario writes in the New York Times that, "logo-filled banners line the streets downtown, and a flier stapled to a telephone pole might be for an indie-rock showcase in a parking lot, a marketing experiment for a blue-chip soft drink company or both." Sisario adds, however, that:
Sponsors do more than just hand out samples and collect e-mail addresses. They provide the shadow financing that pays for much of what happens at South by Southwest, from the rent for off-site party spaces to artists’ lodging and travel expenses. For many bands the only substantial performance fee of the week might come from a sponsored party.
David Hall on Beatcrave adds that, "SXSW music has its moments, but caters to the elite."

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