Tables Turn on Rebel Festival

Austin SXSW now finds itself cast as 'the man'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 14, 2008 2:20 PM CDT
As unofficial parties sprout up around this year's SXSW Festival, it is festival authorities and not law enforcement who have taken it upon themselves to shut them down.   ((c) keeping it real)
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(Newser) – The South by Southwest musical festival finds itself in an odd spot—the once-tiny gathering is now the big bad authority figure as it tries to keep others from horning in on its success, the Wall Street Journal reports. Festival organizers routinely call the police, revoke privileges, and file lawsuits as they try to shut down the loads of unsanctioned parties and concerts that spring up on the fringes of the 5-day festival in Austin, Texas.

And even though many of those unsanctioned parties are sponsored by corporate entities such as Ticketmaster and JetBlue, "They're the rebels and we're 'The Man,'" said SXSW director Roland Swenson. The festival itself, which started in 1987 on a shoestring, now has such big-name sponsors as Citibank and Dell, the Journal notes. This year's event runs through Tuesday.