The SXSW conference and festival in Austin, Texas is not offering refunds to the thousands of delegates who were attending the event.
The City of Austin cancelled SXSW last Friday, just days out from the festival getting underway. SXSW has a strict no-refund policy, as published on their website.
SXSW does not issue refunds under any circumstances. Any and all payments made to SXSW are not refundable for any reason, including, without limitation, failure to use Credentials due to illness, acts of God, travel-related problems, acts of terrorism, loss of employment and/or duplicate purchases. SXSW will not issue refunds for Credentials that have been revoked.
This week SXSW laid off one third of its 175 of its staff. Co-founder Roland Swenson told The Statesman in Austin, “We are planning for the future and this was a necessary, but heartbreaking, step.”
42 Australian acts were effected by the cancellation. The majority of the Australian acts now face out of pocket expenses for American visas, airfares, accommodation and on-ground living expenses, which could total $30,000+ per act.
SXSW is allowing 2020 delegates to defer registration to 2021, 2022 or 2023. However, in the case of international acts, especially Australian acts from so far away, the loses from 2020 most likely means they will never have the opportunity again.