SXSW Drops U.S. Army As Sponsor

Prominent arts and tech festival SXSW has dropped the U.S. Army as a sponsor, organizers have announced via the fest’s website.

“After careful consideration, we are revising our sponsorship model,” they wrote. “As a result, the US Army, and companies who engage in weapons manufacturing, will not be sponsors of SXSW 2025.”

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The news comes following a challenged 2024 edition of SXSW that saw over 80 acts pull out of the music component of the festival, given the Army’s sponsorship of the event amid its relationship with Israel during the war with Hamas.

At the time, Texas Governor Greg Abbott took to X to respond, “Bye. Don’t come back. Austin remains the HQ for the Army Futures Command. San Antonio is Military City USA. We are proud of the U.S. military in Texas. If you don’t like it, don’t come here.”

In its own statement across social media platforms, SXSW responded, “SXSW does not agree with Governor Abbott,” adding that the fest “welcomes diverse viewpoints. Music is the soul of SXSW, and it has long been our legacy. We fully respect the decision these artists made to exercise their right to free speech.”

SXSW is partially owned by Deadline parent company Penske Media Corporation. Previously, the U.S. Army had been a “Super Sponsor” of the festival, along with companies like Volkswagen, The Austin Chronicle, Porsche, C4 Energy and Delta. In addition, defense contractors Raytheon, Collins Aerospace and BAE Systems, as well as Department of Defense agencies including the CIA and NSA, have taken part in recent conference events.

SXSW 2025 will take place in Austin from March 7-15, 2025, with new offshoot SXSW London to be introduced in June 2025.

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