Owner of Rolling Stone secures 50% stake in South by Southwest, WSJ reports


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The owner of Rolling Stone, Billboard and Variety has purchased a big stake in South by Southwest — all in an effort to keep the festival alive after a tough year.

The Wall Street Journal reports Penske Media Corp. agreed to a 50% stake in the festival.

The tech, movie and music festival suffered a financial blow after it was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

WSJ reports organizers at the time said their insurance policies didn’t cover cancellation because of a pandemic. The festival also had to lay off a third of its year-round employees.

SXSW’s original owners who founded the festival in the 1980s will continue to manage the festival even under the new deal with Penske.

The event hopes to be back in person next year March 11-20 after a virtual festival was held this year.

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