I’m fine with SXSW’s payment scheme for most showcases. In exchange for exposure, artists agree to take either a modest payment or a SXSW badge. This is fine when playing showcases for small/independent labels, publications, companies, etc.
It’s not fine when massive corporations think they can go in and capitalize on rising bands without paying up. This is a lesson McDonald’s is learning.
McDonald’s will now be paying artists that play their SXSW showcase. The company released the following statement:
“SXSW started as a conference and festival for the music industry, related press and up-and-coming musicians bringing the community together to showcase their talents. We are excited to expand our support of music at our SXSW activation where the lineup features a great assortment of more than 20 bands, honoring the spirit of the festival. To further support these artists, all bands performing at our showcase will be compensated.”
McDonald’s Director of Global Media Relations Becca Hary originally said this was a non-story, using the hashtag “#slownewsday“. The hashtag took off on Twitter, bringing even more attention to McDonalds’ unwillingness to pay.
Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u
Image: ‘Happy Meal’ by Wilson Tai, licensed under Creative Commons Generic Attribution 2.0 (CC by 2.0).