- 19 Apr 21
The corporation is the publisher behind Rolling Stone and Billboard.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that a 50% stake in SXSW has been sold to Penske Media Corporation – the publishing company behind Rolling Stone, Billboard, and Variety.
The Austin, Texas-based music, tech and arts festival has been owned by the festival's founders since 1987, and the founders will continue to operate and manage the festival, despite that Penske now owns the largest stake.
SXSW was cancelled in 2020 due to Coronavirus concerns, with Irish artists like Ailbhe Reddy, Gross Net, Lilla Vargen, The Murder Capital, Pat Byrne, Pat Dam Smyth, Pillow Queens, Protex, Ryan McMullan, Tebi Rex, and The Wood Burning Savages missing out on travelling to perform at the prestigious American festival. The festival has returned virtually for 2021, and the organisers are hoping to have an in-person festival in 2022.
“It’s been an incredibly tough period for small businesses, SXSW included,” Roland Swenson, SXSW CEO & co-founder said in a statement. “When [Penske founder] Jay Penske came to us with interest in becoming a partner, it was a true lifeline for us. While SXSW’s core business will retain its focus on the March event in Austin, this strategic investment also brings the exploration of new capabilities in providing quality programming to our diverse community of highly engaged creative professionals.”