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Pandemic stricken SXSW has sold half its stake to Penske Media – The publisher of Rolling Stone, Billboard, Vibe, and Variety.

“It’s been an incredibly tough period for small businesses, SXSW included,” Roland Swenson, SXSW CEO & co-founder said in a statement. “When [Penske founder] Jay Penske came to us with interest in becoming a partner, it was a true lifeline for us. While SXSW’s core business will retain its focus on the March event in Austin, this strategic investment also brings the exploration of new capabilities in providing quality programming to our diverse community of highly engaged creative professionals.”

The popular conference that drew artists and media creatives around the world has been forced online. It’s been 2 years since the last in person gathering.

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