One of the biggest indie music events of the year, SXSW in Austin, TX, has been surrounded by controversy after its organizers forgot to invite any bands to play.
“It was an honest mistake,” says SXSW executive music director Ben Tiller.
“I had a super busy few weeks leading up to the event and it just sort of slipped my mind. It’s totally my bad.”
Strangely, many of the festival attendees didn’t seem to notice.
“Is SXSW a music thing? My daughter told me this is where cool brands advertise. Honestly I thought it had something to do with baseball,” added Bill Winter, founder and CEO of Winter Scotch Tape, whose Totally Sticky Scotch Tape VIP Lounge was one of the biggest hits of the festival.
“Let’s be honest, SXSW hasn’t been about the music since ’98,” says head of PR for SXSW, Chris Elms.
“Just give the kids a free keychain, a pair of plastic orange sunglasses and plug in an iPhone with a Spotify playlist and they’re happy.
“We’ve been doing it for a decade. If you don’t like it, suck it.”