SXSW was the subject of a class action lawsuit in April 2020 on behalf of ticket holders who did not receive a refund after the city’s cancellation of the Austin, Texas festival. The festival and the plaintiffs recently reached a settlement of the lawsuit brought by plaintiffs Maria Bromley and Kleber Pauta, according to court documents seen by Pitchfork. A district court judge granted preliminary approval of the settlement on September 30.
The judge’s order granting preliminary approval notes that the two parties reached a settlement “following intensive and independent negotiations” during a 10-hour mediation session on December 17, 2020. The preliminary approval of the judge describes the procedures that the festival must follow. take in order to reach class members. A “fairness hearing” is scheduled for February 18, 2022, which will determine whether the settlement should be approved as “fair, reasonable and adequate”.
In a statement, shared with Pitchfork via email, the plaintiffs litigation team said: can reap the benefits of the settlement.
On Wednesday, October 6, days after the judge granted preliminary approval of the settlement, SXSW filed a separate lawsuit against Federal Insurance Company for failing to fund its defense. The complaint, viewed by Pitchfork, claims the company refused to provide insurance coverage regarding the 2020 cancellation. The festival is suing for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and conversion; SXSW is seeking a judicial declaration ordering the Federal Insurance Company to indemnify and defend the event, including loss, settlement and defense costs.
Pitchfork contacted SXSW attorneys and class action plaintiffs.