SXSW has removed the “deportation clause” from performer contracts

The festival promised to remove the language in 2017 after protests.

March 12, 2018
Wavves performs at SXSW. March 17, 2012.   Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images

According to contracts obtained by Pitchfork, SXSW has changed its performer contracts to remove the language that opened up the possibility of festival cooperating with goverment authorities to remove artists from the United States, a section known as the "deportation clause."


Read the revised section below via Pitchfork.

An Artist seeking to enter the United States to perform at SXSW is solely responsible for obtaining any applicable visa(s) and complying with all pertinent immigration rules. To secure Artist’s spot in SXSW Music, Artist agrees to notify SXSW about how Artist intends to enter the U.S. (what type of visa or if using the Visa Waiver Program) by February 5, 2018.

The original contract read that SXSW had the power to "notify the appropriate U.S. immigration authorities" on any artist that "adversely affect[ed] the viability of their official SXSW showcase." A performer called Told Slant cancelled their gig in 2017 after noticing the language, leading to widespread backlash and an open letter demanding the clause's removal.

In response, SXSW agreed to revise the contracts for 2018 and pointed to its opposition to President Trump's travel ban. SXSW claimed it has never reported someone to Customs & Border Protection (CBP).

SXSW has removed the “deportation clause” from performer contracts