SXSW removes ‘deportation clause’ from artists contracts following controversy

The previous contract hadn't been amended since 2013.

SXSW have followed through with reforms the festival promised to make concerning performance agreements that could lead to artist deportations for those that violate their contracts.

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Earlier this month, Felix Walworth of Told Slant announced that the indie-pop band would be cancelling their SXSW performance on the basis of contract terms that allowed the festival to “notify the appropriate U.S. immigration authorities” if they “or their representatives have acted in ways that adversely affect the viability of their official SXSW showcase”.

This followed with an open letter signed by a number of artists and a response from SXSW stating that “this language has been part of the contracts since the summer of 2013, and we will be reviewing and amending it for 2018 and beyond”.

SXSW atmosphere

Now, SXSW have altered this year’s agreements, according to documents obtained by Pitchfork, so it no longer contains language suggesting that the festival will contact immigration authorities if an artist’s contract was breached.

It now reads: “An Artist seeking to enter the United States to perform at SXSW is solely responsible for obtaining any applicable visa(s) and complying with all pertinent immigration rules. To secure Artist’s spot in SXSW Music, Artist agrees to notify SXSW about how Artist intends to enter the U.S. (what type of visa or if using the Visa Waiver Program) by February 5, 2018.”