Currently, the political climate is filled with themes that have affected more than just the average man or woman. Recently at the Oscars, Ashgar Farhadi, just one an Oscar for best foreign language film but did not attend the ceremony due to president Trumps’s immigration order. For fans of some entertainers, they get a chance to see a creative response from their favorites. One of the ways that fans are able to see some of these artists is by attending a festival that features artists from all over the world. Arguably, the biggest festival of the year is SXSW is now in hot water after more information has surfaced about language in their performance contract.
Yesterday many fans were surprised to find out about a clause in the artists contract for those who perform at SXSW. To keep things simple, according to STEREOGUM the clause gives the festival the option to report international acts to immigration authorities if they “acted in ways that adversely affect the viability of their official SXSW showcase.”
To most people, this does not sound like a big deal. But, under Trump’s administration this screams of another way to control immigration. The clause only came about recently, it has been around since 2013. Many will be glad to know that participating artists have signed an open letter demanding that the clause be amended.
The artists who spoke out against the clause have caught the attention of festival officials as SXSW has promised to review the language in their performance contract.
The list of artists include,
With Much Concern,
Zach de la Rocha
Sister Polygon Records
Don Giovanni Records
Try the Pie
Allison Crutchfield and the Fizz
Patrick Ferguson (drummer in Mike Mills, Powder Room, more)
Shannon and the Clams
Hank Wood and the Hammerheads
Miriam Hakim and Roger Medina of Giant Kitty
Hand Grenade Job
Casey (from Mitski and Bully)
Today, SXSW officials have released a statement revealing that they will be taking a closer look at the “language” in the contract.
Read the statement below:
SXSW opposes discrimination of any kind, and has taken a public stand against President Trump’s travel ban and proposed legislation like SB6 in Texas. We have and will continue to support human rights for all. In this political climate, especially as it relates to immigration, we recognize the heightened importance of standing together against injustice.
SXSW has never reported anyone to any immigration authorities, including Customs & Border Protection (CBP), the agency that deals with participating artists entering the United States.
Participation from individuals and organizations who bring a different perspective — especially those who travel from all over the world — to Austin each March is what makes SXSW a special event.
We have been coordinating with international acts coming to SXSW to try and mitigate issues at U.S. ports of entry, and will continue to build a coalition of attorneys to assist any who face problems upon arrival in the States.
The language in our Performance Agreement is intended to facilitate U.S. entry for international artists and to show CBP that SXSW takes visa issues seriously. This language has been part of the contracts since the summer of 2013, and we will be reviewing and amending it for 2018 and beyond.
In regards to the situation surrounding Told Slant, before we had clarity on the situation we believed this artist had taken our language out of context. We apologize for this error.
A major reason for SXSW’s existence is the discovery of new and exciting artists from around the world, and our hope is that we can help these creative people achieve their goals.