Watch Out for Pay-to-Play Scams

Every year as the SXSW Festival draws closer, many musical artists are invited to perform at what appear to be official SXSW Music Festival Showcases. Be aware that SXSW does not charge our artists to perform at SXSW official showcases, and we operate on a strict invitation-only policy.

All invitations to play at the SXSW Music Festival will come from

Any solicitation that requires payment or a similar requirement (e.g., selling a minimum amount of tickets) to be a part of a SXSW Music Festival Showcase is not legitimate.

We strongly object to these solicitations, and actively do everything we can to protect artists from being victimized by “pay-to-play” scams. To help prevent yourself from falling victim to these scams, be on the lookout for any suspicious invitations that require you to pay money to perform or audition, and please be wary of any communication that doesn’t come from an official SXSW email address.

If someone approaches you with a pay-to-play opportunity for SXSW, then it is not coming from SXSW. If you have a question, please send any leads or inquiries about these solicitations to

Join Us at SXSW 2024

SXSW brings together artists, industry professionals, and music lovers from around the world to Austin, TX each year. Join us from March 8-16 to celebrate the magic of live music and so much more. Register today and book your hotel for SXSW 2024 today!

Stay informed about the latest updates from SXSW by following us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

The Lemon Twigs – SXSW 2023 – Photo by Melissa Bordeau

By SXSW Staff Writer