Rolling Stone parent company P-MRC buys SXSW stake

Rolling Stone parent company P-MRC Holdings has purchased a stake in South By Southwest (SXSW). 

A joint venture between Penske Media Corporation (PMC) and MRC, P-MRC has acquired a 50% stake in the music, film and tech festival, reports The Wall Street Journal. 

The annual conference, based on Austin, Texas was cancelled at the last minute in 2020, as a result of the pandemic. The late cancellation caused a big financial hit for the organisers, potentially putting future events in jeopardy.

The investment from P-MRC puts the festival in a much stronger position to continue. 

Other brands under the P-MRC umbrella include Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

“It has been an incredibly tough period for small businesses, SXSW included,” said SXSW CEO and Co-Founder, Roland Swenson. “When Jay Penske approached us with an interest in becoming a partner, it was a true lifeline for us.”

Penske Media chairman and CEO, Jay Penske, said: “As part of this significant investment, we plan to build upon SXSW’s incredible foundation while extending the platform further digitally and assisting Roland and his incredible team to bring their vision to even greater heights.”

While last year’s SXSW was cancelled, the organisers ran SXSW Online as a virtual event in March 2021.

The in-person SXSW is expected to return in March 2022.