READ THE WEEKEND: South By Southwest Highlights

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As South by Southwest in Austin wraps up on Sunday, here are some highlights from last week.

A vending machine selling old Austin relics opened this week in the lobby of the Paramount Theater which aims to preserve the history of the city’s genteel areas, said Carl Settles, executive director of the Austin nonprofit E4 Youth.

The LostIn Vending Machine includes items from old Austin establishments like a T-shirt from East Austin’s Victory Grill or a piñata from the now-closed Jumpolin or a pencil case from LC Anderson High School.

The car will be placed at the Paramount festival through the South by Southwest.

“Creative and tech companies are a gentrifying force, in that they’re bringing these people into cities and they don’t really understand the history of the places they inhabit, so this is one way to remind these people,” Settles said about the timeline. SXSW.

Unable to visit the vending machine during SXSW? Settles said he hopes the car will move to other locations like the Austin airport or Meta’s offices.

Across Texas, the music industry generated nearly $11 billion in economic activity in 2022, a recent state report shows. Austin music tourism generates about $1.8 billion annually, according to the nonprofit Austin Music Movement.

In a South by Southwest panel titled “The Economic Impact of Live Entertainment,” live music experts spoke about how entertainment multiplies dollars spent locally and how the impact goes beyond venues and the artists themselves.

In 2022, the SXSW festival, which includes a music festival, impacted $280.7 million in Austin. The years leading up to the pandemic brought more money to the city, including $355.9 million in 2019.

Outside the Austin Convention Center — the epicenter of South By Southwest Conference & Festivals — dozens of musicians gathered to sing along Thursday morning with signs, drums and a megaphone.

But these musicians weren’t brought together for an SXSW-sponsored performance. Instead, they banded together to denounce what they called low and unfair compensation rates for appearing and performing at the festival.

The Union of Allied Workers and Musicians launched a campaign on 7 February. UMAW has asked festival producers to cut the entry fee and raise the fee for an SXSW performance to at least $750. Since last month, 2,500 artists have signed the letter of request, and after the event ends, the latter it was hand-delivered to festival officials.

SXSW Press and Publicity said the following about the rally:

“SXSW is honored to host over 1,400 performances each March. We are committed to creating professional opportunities by bringing together emerging artists with media, the global music industry and an influential audience. We appreciate UMAW’s feedback and will do our review of the policies after the event.

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