Penske Media Corp, which is the publisher of magazines such as Rolling Stone, Billboard and Variety-agreed to obtain a 50% stake in South by Southwest, the famed tech, music and movie festival.
The Texas festival, one of the biggest and most popular in the US., was dealt a critical financial blow last March after being cancelled at the last minute by Austin city officials due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Organizers stated at the time that their insurance policies did not cover cancellation due to the pandemic. They assumed that the cancellation would cost them millions of dollars, raising suspicion regarding the future of the festival, which is also known as SXSW or simply “Southby.” Last spring, SXSW laid off a third of its 175 year-round employees.
This year, organizers managed a shortened virtual event only, but stated that their intentions involved bringing the event back in person in 2022.