SXSW–do we get anything by being there?

We learned the other day that county commissioners and city council have agreed to each spend $50,000 of our money to send a delegation to South by Southwest.

The wikipedia article about South by Southwest reads:

South by Southwest (abbreviated as SXSW and colloquially referred to as South By) is an annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in mid-March in Austin, Texas, United States. It began in 1987, and has continued to grow in both scope and size every year. In 2017, the conference lasted for 10 days with SXSW interactive lasting for five days, music for seven days and film running concurrently for nine days. Comedy and gaming components to the festival are particularly fast-growing.

The city and the county evidently feel that our attendance will be good for the community.  Maybe it will.

The city and county attended last year.


Did our community get any positive benefit from their attendance last year or is this really an opportunity for our employees to have a party?

We deserve better


16 Responses to SXSW–do we get anything by being there?

  1. The Oracle says:

    The people in Austin and EVERYONE at SXSW have no intention of coming to El Paso or hearing about El Paso and don’t CARE if El Paso is at SXSW.
    (Each is there to promote their OWN “whatever. . . . band, city, juggling group, comedy, DJ’ing, entertainment, etc.,)

    EACH has a self-interest in promoting themselves to BE HIRED by producers from NY or LA or the UK or Australia.

    A CITY will not gain a thing by a delegation being there.
    It serves no purpose whatsoever.

    The people that attend SXSW are, on average, under 30 years old and could care less what OTHERS are promoting.
    It’s FOR mostly young people to party. That’s it.
    Some bands and entertainment will get “noticed” and some will get hired or invited to play-participate somewhere else for almost no money. ( . . . for the EXPOSURE . . .you see.)

    A way for some bars, some promoters, to get starving bands to play for free, for the EXPOSURE.

    It’s a racket. It’s a party for young people.
    It’s for Austin. It’s IN Austin.
    It’s Austin’s Annual Party, and a way for outsiders to come there and spend money in bars, restaurants and hotels.
    It’s a money making scheme for Austin.

    How does that relate to . . . .El Paso ?
    Oh, that’s right . . . it doesn’t !


  2. Don't make sense says:

    It is a big liberal-fest where the movie industry can see who gives the biggest tax breaks. Hollywood thinks everyone else should pay more taxes, but that they should pay zero taxes.


  3. Tickedofftaxpayer says:

    More misguided marketing focus. The news just came out that EP did not made the list of 20 finalist city for the Amazon second HQ that they were also wasting resources chasing.


  4. mamboman3 says:

    50 grand x 2 for each body to send how many lucky reps to party for several days. What is there official representing they’ll be doing? An el paso movie? an el paso band? el paso restaurants? Chihuahuas? Come on. That’s worse than spending for box seats for a privileged delegation.


  5. Basically, we, the already overburdened taxpayers of El Paso, are also underwriting the party for some elected representatives (because you know they would never allow employees to do this) for absolutely no reason at all.


  6. Disgusted says:

    SXSW is just a tech and entertainment one big party and festival. The city and county delegation is a boondoggle for a few individuals to have fun at our expense. Delegates will use our tax dollars to try to find personal opportunities of themselves.


  7. anon says:

    We learned today just how much credibility El Paso has in the tech world. El Paso didn’t even make it into the list of 20 cities being considered for Amazon’s second headquarters. They should use that SXSW party money to fix potholes.


    • realist says:

      El Paso did not make the cut along with over 300 other cities. We have plenty of company.


      • Anonymous says:

        Apparently all these high-dollar Lobbyist the city pays to “Sell” El Paso are just in Austin on a permanent vacation. What is it they do other than get PAID? But then I guess if you are a “Salesman”, you’ve got to have something to SELL. How does the Street Party in Austin have anything at all to do with El Paso? Taxpayers going to blow off $100,000 for these politicians to go PARTY. Maybe they are going to get a snow-cone stand, a taco stand to MOVE to El Paso?? People in El Paso that enjoy the music, the Fest, the drinking, the Party, simply jump in their cars and drive down there. But THEY don’t expect, FORCE the TAXPAYERS to pay for their PARTY. We have better uses for all this money than blowing it off on POLITICIANS. Fix some potholes, fix some streets, paint traffic lanes, stripes, clean up some trash. Maybe even go really nuts and BUY a couple of Police vehicles. Put a couple Police on the streets. WE don’t OWE these arrogant, useless, incapable POLITICIANS a PARTY, A 10 day DRUNK. What is it THEY do for US???????????????


  8. JerryK says:

    I think it’s a good idea and that our reps should travel more to events like this, urbanism conferences, green festivals, etc. I did when I worked at the city and did so mostly at my own expense, taking a few vacation days. How else do you get your mind outside the box of isolation and provincialism that defines us here on the border, 300 miles from the nearest large city in any direction?


    • call it the way i see it says:

      Fine, you write the check. A trip to SXSW isn’t going to change the intellect of local politicos or their willingness to follow the directions of special interests. That’s how you end up with a magic wall downtown in a pavilion named for a downtown developer.


  9. Anonymous says:

    So who has asked these El Taxo politicians, what exactly El Paso got out of their PARTY in Austin last year? Business, money, jobs? What do we get for the $100,000 THEY blow off? SXSW is a Street Party, music, entertainment, food, a “Ten day DRUNK”. It’s NOT a “Business meeting, a JOBS, new Industry Conference”. It’s New Years Eve in Las Vegas, except much smaller. Why should THEY be allowed to rip US off for a $100,000 to go to a PARTY?? They want to go, take a vacation, spend their own money. WE don’t have Police on the streets in El Taxo and they are going blow off a $100,000 to go get DRUNK and PARTY .?? What have THEY done for US that WE send THEM on this Party and WE pay for it??


  10. abandon hope says:

    SXSW is March 9 – 18 this year. It should be easy to find out who is in the “delegation.” Demand that they tell the taxpayers specifically how this “investment” will benefit El Paso. Of course the “delegation” will deflect the question, but the point is to make it clear to all reps and commissioners that the taxpayers are watching and holding them accountable now and the next time they run for any office.


  11. Dax says:

    If they are there doesn’t that mean they won’t be here mucking things up?


    • Anonymous says:

      Well WE will get the Bills for their 10 day party/Vacation/drunk. SXSW is a street party, booze, food, music. So why are El Taxo taxpayers blowing off a $100,000 on these politicians?? They buying drinks for the city or picking up “Escorts”??


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