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South by Southwest’s unpaid labor problem: Why it’s risking a class action lawsuit (3000 unpaid)
Salon ^ | Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014 | Charles Davis

Posted on 03/06/2014 7:36:47 AM PST by a fool in paradise

...As of 2010, SXSW Inc. had just 75 paid employees, including those working part-time.

..,These thousands of volunteers “are the faces of SXSW,” according to the company, and without them this year’s conference simply couldn’t happen.

...SXSW may have an argument that its internship program is legal; that its program is only available to those getting college credit certainly helps. When it comes to volunteers, however, the Department of Labor says there is no argument at all: Individuals “may not volunteer services to for-profit private sector employers.”

...The artists who come to SXSW aren’t compensated much better. Plane tickets and accommodations are on the band, which SXSW pays with either $250 or free admission to the music festival — one or the other, not both. Big names can find themselves a sponsor at a side event, but the up-and-comers are usually left in debt.

While much of the labor at SXSW may be free, tickets are not. If you order six months ahead of time, a pass to the film festival will set you back $495, as opposed to $650 if you buy now. A music badge costs $625 if you order ahead of time and $795 at the door, while access to everything costs from $1,295 to $1,695.

...“Are we getting rich? What is rich? I’m not sure what that means,” Swenson replied, sounding like someone who is certainly not poor. “To me rich means that I don’t have to work anymore. And if that’s the case, I’m not rich.”

...The music pass turned out not to be worth going without sleep for 10 days, she said, but it was still all right...

...even the absurdly nonprofit National Football League decided to end its direct use of unpaid labor at the Super Bowl...

(Excerpt) Read more at salon.com ...


TOPICS: Arts/Photography; Business/Economy; Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: forprofit; lawsuit; sxsw; unpaidinterns

1 posted on 03/06/2014 7:36:47 AM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: Revolting cat!

Want to get an introduction to working in the music industry? Come to Austin, see others making money hand over fist off of your labor, and receive no cash or songcoin in return!


2 posted on 03/06/2014 7:38:07 AM PST by a fool in paradise (The Texas judge's decision was to pave the way for same sex divorce for two Massachusetts women.)
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To: a fool in paradise

Not to mention the 10,000s of entertainers who submit their materials for a $40 filing fee (think of the college admissions processing scam). every year.


3 posted on 03/06/2014 7:39:07 AM PST by a fool in paradise (The Texas judge's decision was to pave the way for same sex divorce for two Massachusetts women.)
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To: a fool in paradise

Shows the strength of the Texas economy, eh?

1200 bucks a ticket is Superbowl territory.


4 posted on 03/06/2014 7:39:33 AM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: a fool in paradise
think of the college admissions processing scam

Big Education...not as much funding for Dems as unions provide, but close....

5 posted on 03/06/2014 7:40:48 AM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: a fool in paradise

I run several McDonalds. To get a job there, I require all candidates to intern for free. The best get promoted to a full time paying job after a year.

See how stupid this sounds...Candidates may NOT volunteer their work under current labor law. (Not sure I agree with the law, but it is the law)


6 posted on 03/06/2014 7:41:48 AM PST by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: a fool in paradise

Meanwhile, my local government is asking for unpaid volunteers to man the information desk at city hall.


7 posted on 03/06/2014 7:44:06 AM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: nascarnation

As of last year, even the $800 “all access” music badge doesn’t get a holder into all of the “cool” “big name” shows. Concerts by Prince and others STILl required pass holders to enter their names in a lottery for possible admission. $800 lottery tickets? Is that legal?

Attorney generals said no when Obama did it in the 2008 campaign.


8 posted on 03/06/2014 7:44:41 AM PST by a fool in paradise (The Texas judge's decision was to pave the way for same sex divorce for two Massachusetts women.)
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To: a fool in paradise

I feel pinched spending a hundred bucks for the Indy 500 or Bristol Nascar races...


9 posted on 03/06/2014 7:47:57 AM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: LUV W

Ping.


10 posted on 03/06/2014 8:02:54 AM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: a fool in paradise

A company I used to buy from did something similar. It was a game company run a notch above a hobby with a couple of full time employees, contracted out design and “the crew” of local gamers brought in for packing new releases about four times a year. The were fed, given a copy of the game and discounts on back stock for a day or two of assembly line packing of the games. When the company was bought out by another company the new boss made it clear that production method would be stopped because it wasn’t legal to not pay employees, even on a voluntary basis.


11 posted on 03/06/2014 8:14:18 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Republican amnesty supporters don't care whether their own homes are called mansions or haciendas.)
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To: a fool in paradise

I go to all the Free events. So much Free Music during SXSW you can typically see 5-6 bands a day for free with no wrist band or badge.


12 posted on 03/06/2014 8:15:26 AM PST by BubbaBobTX ("The problem with socialism is you eventually run out of other peoples money." Margaret Thatcher)
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To: nascarnation
"I feel pinched spending a hundred bucks for the Indy 500 or Bristol Nascar races..."

Going to a Formula 1 race does more than pinch you, it squeezes you dry. Tickets are VERY expensive. (No, I've never gone to an F1 race, but I checked ticket prices out of curiosity.)
13 posted on 03/06/2014 8:16:56 AM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: Drango

What about PGA golf tournaments? Despite today’s huge purses, don’t they rely on a lot of volunteer labor for crowd control and hospitality?


14 posted on 03/06/2014 8:20:04 AM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: Steve_Seattle

Never though about it. Great point..Indeed they do...I’ve volunteered at several PGA events...

Triathlons, bike races, etc much of the work done at competitions is done by volunteers. Most of these are run by for-profit companies.


15 posted on 03/06/2014 8:26:46 AM PST by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: Drango

To follow up on my question about the PGA, I checked the website for the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay, Washington. Not only are the volunteers unpaid, but they must pay a $165 registration fee, for which they receive the required ID materials. The tournament requires between 4,500 and 6,000 volunteers.


16 posted on 03/06/2014 8:26:47 AM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: Steve_Seattle

I went to the one at Indy the year after Michelin had the huge tire fubar and only 6 cars ran in the race.
They were giving out tens of thousands of super cheap tix.


17 posted on 03/06/2014 8:28:14 AM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: nascarnation
"I went to the one at Indy the year after Michelin had the huge tire fubar and only 6 cars ran in the race. They were giving out tens of thousands of super cheap tix."

Yes, I remember that fiasco. Ticket prices for upscale venues like Monte Carlo can be in the thousands.
18 posted on 03/06/2014 8:31:59 AM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: a fool in paradise

Wanna volunteer for Jimmah Cahteh’s Habitat For Humanity and build homes for the poor? It’ll cost ya a perty penny!


19 posted on 03/06/2014 10:02:58 AM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious! We reserve the right to serve refuse to anyone!)
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To: a fool in paradise

I’ve got a friend that volunteer at SXSW, they’re compensated by getting in free, you can still exchange services.


20 posted on 03/06/2014 10:05:34 AM PST by discostu (I don't meme well.)
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To: Army Air Corps; Arrowhead1952; NYTexan; mylife; Eaker; TheMom; laurenmarlowe; El Gato; RebelTex; ...

Texas ping!


21 posted on 03/06/2014 1:27:11 PM PST by LUV W (All my heroes wear camos! Thank you David, Michael, Chris Txradioguy, JJ, CMS, & ALL Vets, too!)
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To: LUV W

I stay out of Austin during SXSW week. Nothing but suckers go there to spend their money.


22 posted on 03/06/2014 2:29:43 PM PST by Arrowhead1952 (The Second Amendment is NOT about the right to hunt. It IS a right to shoot tyrants.)
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To: a fool in paradise

Austin, the lib blue blight in the middle of Texas.


23 posted on 03/06/2014 6:05:24 PM PST by bgill
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To: a fool in paradise
pass holders to enter their names in a lottery for possible admission.

Mirroring UT Austin where you pay for covered parking by your dorm but with the lottery your parking space may be a mile away without covering, if you get in at all.

24 posted on 03/06/2014 6:09:23 PM PST by bgill
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