Festival severs Army and defense contractor sponsorships after more than 80 artists withdrew from 2024 edition

By Adrian Horton, The Guardian

South by Southwest has discontinued its partnership with the US Army and the defense contractor RTX Corporation for its 2025 festival in response to concerns from numerous artists who withdrew from the 2024 event, the festival announced on Wednesday.

SXSW drops U.S. Army sponsorship for 2025 festival
screenshot, KVUE

“After careful consideration, we are revising our sponsorship model,” the festival said in a statement on its website’s FAQ page. “As a result, the US army, and companies who engage in weapons manufacturing, will not be sponsors of SXSW 2025.”

The film, culture and tech festival, held each March in Austin, Texas, will also discontinue its partnership with Collins Aerospace, a subsidiary of weapons manufacturer RTX Corporation, formerly known as Raytheon.

Over 80 artists withdrew from the 2024 festival in support of Palestine after Israel’s invasion of Gaza, citing SXSW’s ties to the weapons manufacturer and its sponsorship by the US army.

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