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3.23.2007

sxsw 07 | the pissing match 

i was all set to deep throat my own piece of investigative journalism about why nearly every afterparty that wasn't officially sanctioned by sxsw got shut down this year. (total bullshit. except vice. fine, the balcony collapsing counts as legit.)

i'd been collecting rumors, stories, conspiracy theories, redbull cans, interviews and news articles. but then... factory people went ahead and blew the.. uh, whistle on the whole shebang with an open letter on austinist. and i'm so glad. i just hope this ripples its way out like the swampy floor at the iheartcomix kick off party - and actually hits home with some of the city officials and festival organizers.

it was a bad move all around on their part. and i hope this incites lots more dialogue and protest. there's so much more to be said and sorted. but good for FP for speaking up without coming off like crybabies. (and for referencing LCD soundsystem in the letter title.) rock on.

here are two excerpts:

We Love You Austin and SXSW, But You’re Freaking Us Out
As life-long independent music lovers and long-time Austinites (at least one of has lived here since 1989), we have come to love mid-March when the SXSW Music Festival brings Austin to life. After the events of this year's fest, it’s unlikely we’ll ever feel the same affection for SXSW. On Thursday, March 15th, an inspector of the City of Austin’s Fire Marshal’s Office shut down the FactoryPeople after-party within an hour of the doors opening. He held in his hand a list of 19 other events he would visit that night. Friday night saw a rumoured 26 parties targeted while Saturday saw even more confusion.
...

SXSW has sustained a reputation for being imperial and difficult to deal with for years. Whether it’s delaying the 2007 band roster for several weeks or filing multi-million dollar lawsuits for copyright infringement against small companies or appearing to be involved in the shutting down of unofficial events, these are not the actions of people who claim “SXSW is what it is, and we do our best to stay out of its way.” SXSW has not kept secret their frustration with non-sanctioned events. Well-documented efforts on their behalf to shut down private parties and alternative SXSW events were carried out by the Fire Marshal as far back as 1994. Unfortunately, in lieu of open communication, conspiracy theories will abound.


read the full letter here


download lcd soundsystem :: new york i love you ::

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