McDonald’s decides to pay bands at SXSW

Mar 16, 2015

Last week, an independent musician announced on Facebook that his band, Ex Cops, had been approached by McDonald’s with an offer to play their South-by-Southwest showcase.

This would have been great, had it not been for one caveat: McDonald’s wasn’t going to pay these artists a dime.

Well, once this news was announced, freelancers, artists, musicians, and independent musicians everywhere made quite the uproar.

As it turns out, they made enough noise to convince McDonald’s to change course entirely. In a statement made to Billboard, a McDonald’s spokesperson said,

“SXSW started as a conference and festival for the music industry, related press and up-and-coming musicians bringing the community together to showcase their talents. We are excited to expand our support of music at our SXSW activation where the lineup features a great assortment of more than 20 bands, honoring the spirit of the festival. To further support these artists, all bands performing at our showcase will be compensated."

Need proof that freelancers who come together can make a difference? This is it.

Freelancers, have you ever had a client try to convince you that “working for exposure” (read: free) was worth it? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.