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SXSW threatens to deport international artists that play non-official showcases

Posted by on March 2, 2017

In a little under two weeks, Austin Texas will be overtaken by countless marketing associates, artists, managers, labels, booking agents and journalists for the annual SXSW convention. It’s a legitimate launching pad for many artists from not just around the country, but around the world. However, with the new immigration rules that are not quite in effect, it’s a weird time for anyone from outside the United States to travel here, and it seems like SXSW is holding that over artists’ heads should they play shows not officially sanctioned by SXSW.

Musician Felix Walworth, who plays in several indie rock bands, tweeted out a picture of the band’s contract to play at the festival. The screenshot he tweeted out reads, in part, “accepting and peforming at any non-sanctioned events may result in immediate deportation, revoked passport and denied entry by the US Customs Border Patrol at US point of entry.” Here’s the thing – there are plenty of non-official shows and showcases that take place. Many artists, in an attempt to be as visible as possible, will play two or three times a day even in the hopes of being seen or buddying up with a brand or other like-minded musicians.

That’s pretty nuts, and not just for artists outside of the U.S. SXSW showcases can be expensive and hard to get on. There are many shows taking place all over the city that aren’t technically SXSW events, and many artists will play both official and unofficial showcases in an attempt to get all the exposure they can from their Austin experience. Getting your badge revoked isn’t that big of an issue, but suddenly not having a place to stay could be problematic, and it obviously is chilling for any international musicians. It seems like SXSW is really cracking down this year. While there aren’t that many metal shows happening down there this year, it’s still something anyone headed to Austin from overseas should be aware of. 

[via The AV Club]

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Categorised in: News, SXSW