SXSW is now 50% owned by Rolling Stone and Billboard guardian (and MBW investor) P-MRC

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What’s the point of attending an entertainment company fair?

Of course there is the networking gold. Sitting at eye level with B2B acquaintances for the first time. Lifelong industry-oriented friendships that were made at 1am in questionable hotel bars. The good stuff.

But when your return flight comes home on tarmac, your wallet full of receipts, have you actually won anything?

Can you honestly say that you have acquired knowledge that will improve your approach to your job? Or have you really been inspired to broaden your professional / personal horizons?

Austin’s South By Southwest (SXSW) has a long history of excellence in this area. And today (April 19th) we are hearing some important news for SXSW – and the world of B2B / B2C conferences in general.

P-MRC, owner of Rolling Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Billboard and Deadline (and Investor in Music Business Worldwide), announced they have made a strategic investment in SXSW – the annual music / film / technology conference and that Festival based in Texas.

According to the Wall Street Journal, P-MRC has acquired a 50% stake in SXSW LLC, making it the event company’s largest single shareholder.

“Now we are concentrating on the event in March 2022 and we are honored to be able to open a new chapter of SXSW with both of them [Jay Penske’s] Experience and the skills of P-MRC at our side. “

Roland Swenson, SXSW

A media release stated that P-MRC (majority-owned by Penske Media) will “bring media literacy and new discovery to SXSW’s legendary event” and “expand SXSW’s potential for new events and business models.”

P-MRC’s investment is exciting news for SXSW after a rocky drive during the pandemic threatened the future of the event.

The SXSW 2020 event was scrapped by Austin officials due to the coronavirus outbreak – a cancellation that was not covered by the insurance policy, according to SXSW. The company then laid off around a third of its full-time employees.

After a purely virtual event in 2021, SXSW will return as a personal conference and festival from March 11-20, 2022.

Roland Swenson, CEO and Co-Founder of SXSW, announced the P-MRC partnership, saying, “It has been an incredibly difficult time for small businesses, including SXSW. When Jay Penske approached us with an interest in becoming a partner, it was a real lifeline for us.

“Our two companies share a passion for producing high quality content that helps shape modern culture. So this feels like a natural alliance. We are now concentrating on the event in March 2022 and are honored to be able to open a new chapter of SXSW with his experience and the skills of P-MRC at our side. “

Jay Penske, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Penske Media, said, “We are grateful and proud to become permanent partners of SXSW and to work with their exceptional team. Since 1987, SXSW has been the world’s leading festival focusing on the convergence of technology, media, film and music.

“As part of this significant investment, we plan to build on the incredible foundation of SXSW, continue to grow the platform digitally, and help Roland and his incredible team further improve their vision.”

Jay Penske, Penske Media

“SXSW is still one of the best-known brands for promoting creative talent and bringing together the best creators of our time.

“As part of this significant investment, we plan to build on the incredible foundation of SXSW while digitally expanding the platform and helping Roland and his incredible team further improve their vision.”

The management team and core business of SXSW will remain unchanged after the acquisition.Music business worldwide

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