SXSW threatens to narc musicians out to immigration authorities if they play unauthorized gigs -UPDATED


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Is this a joke? I mean WTF!


I’ve seen people on specific visas working side gigs over the years. Doesn’t bother me, but I am sometimes amazed at the casualness with which they do it, when they know it could get them in serious trouble.


Didn’t you know?
SXSW is being held in Scarfolk this year.


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Bands at SXSW always play side gigs. The very first sentence states that if the band’s behavior makes SXSW look bad, they will invoke the clause. It’s not about playing side gigs.

SXSW response is here:

I’m not defending the clause; I’m just pointing out it’s SXSW covering its ass in case a band shows up and creates a lot of bad publicity for SXSW.


Why am I reminded of Mr Clete in Soul Music


Yeah, WTF?! If I was a musician, I would give this place a pass this year.


Those sad, greedy, mother fuckers.


To play devil’s advocate here, isn’t that just an ass-covering exercise because SXSW will get in shit if any of the artists break the terms of the visa waiver they got through SXSW?


Enforcing immigration policy isn’t SXSW’s problem.

Good gods is there ever a ton of greasy, sleazy bullshit in the music industry.


I expect that if the performer qualified for the VWP on the basis of performing at SXSW that SXSW is required to report the cancellation of the performance to the government. Nothing to see here folks just obeying the law.


I think you’ve got it right. It doesn’t sound like it’s SXSW trying to control anybody, it’s them protecting their ability to obtain these visas for foreign performers. If they’re widely abused, they’re likely to be withheld, no?


i mean, i get it: SXSW is covering their ass, and lawyers ruin everything. but COME ON.


Yes, but my point is it very much would be their problem if the immigration service catch one of the artists they’re sponsoring breaking the visa terms.


What does the visa waiver or visa whatever have to do with their performances at sodegigs? If the artist breaks a law, let ICE come after them. Playing a side gig isn’t against the law.

Having read SXSWs statement, I think it’s a non-apology. They claim the would “be remiss in not informing the artists of the consequences of violating the law” but what the contract says is that they will report them to ICE. They say it’s about following the law, but the statement is all about following SXSW policy. They claim it’s about “egregious” behavior, but the language is basically for any reason that SXSW deems appropriate. At its worst, it’s a horribly bullying way of threatening people, at its best it’s an overbroad contract that is dangerous just for its potential abuse.

And that whole thing about “this has been in the contract for five years” is no excuse. “We’ve been assholes since before it was trendy” is not a slogan they should be proud of.


You seem to be conveniently ignoring the visa issue @brainflakes has described.


Wow, it would be a real shame if some of those international acts didn’t even bother to come over and perform at all.

Or at least it would be a shame if I gave a fuck about SXSW.


I’m not sure I get it. The contract seems to assume performers will all be immigrants. Did I read that right? Because I’m glancing over their website and the festival seems pretty international, but mostly US. Kind of weird they would lead with immigration policy. We’re not deporting citizens yet… are we?


Just wait. Won’t be long now before Apricot Asshole makes voting against him punishable by removal of citizenship. And obviously, subsequent deportation.