The fast food giant has listened to the overwhelming critique of its policy of no payment for talent at its showcase at SXSW. This year, they’ll be writing checks after all.
Despite being an international corporation $90 billion, McDonald’s originally posted that it would not be financially compensating performers featured in its 2015 showcase at SXSW. This decision was met with a heated response by Ex Cops’ Brian Harding who, along with his band, had been invited to play. The strong message from the band was echoed by hundreds of fans and artists.
In response to the backlash, a spokesperson for McDonald’s has issued 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.”
Despite multiple justifications for no pay last week, including vague promises of networking and opportunities for exposure, McDonald’s has now entirely changed their stance. Whether or not the switch is truly sincere is another story, but the switch is at least somewhat satisfying. What will be especially interesting is seeing which acts actually do decide to perform on Micky D’s stage. But hey, at the end of the day, artists are getting paid and the labor behind their art is being formally recognized. Musicians – 1 Big Macs – 0