Sydney, Sept 15: I applied to be a part of the SXSW Sydney Pitch in 2023 and received a response that, unfortunately, my application didn’t make it to the finals.
The disappointment was palpable, especially considering the $55 entry fee.
It felt like money wasted. I came across the press release about this opportunity while I was in Malaysia in July/August.
Despite being overseas, I dedicated considerable time and effort to craft a compelling application.
To receive a rejection after such dedication was disheartening.
Beyond SXSW, I’ve also invested my hard-earned money in competitions like the Kennedy Awards and the Walkleys.
I strongly believe that Australian organizations that collect entry fees should consider refunding them to unsuccessful applicants.
Australia is known for its prosperity, and returning entry fees could be a fair practice.
It’s frustrating to see the same high-profile publications nominated year after year for awards while independent publishers and underdogs struggle to gain recognition.
What’s even more disheartening is that some well-paid individuals have their employers cover their application fees, further disadvantageous to independent publishers.
Speaking specifically about SXSW, the cost of attending the conference runs into the thousands. It seems reasonable to consider refunding entry fees to those who didn’t make the cut.
This would be a fair and inclusive approach. It’s worth noting that our publication has been providing free media coverage in the hopes of securing a media accreditation, which is still pending approval.
Until then, I’ll remain on the sidelines.
Despite claims of a financial crisis, it’s astonishing that ticket prices for such events remain exorbitant, and even more surprising, they are consistently sold out.
So, what cost of living crisis is Australian media harping about, when ticket prices for these events remain exorbitant and consistently sold out?
In summary, my disappointment with the outcome of the SXSW Sydney Pitch application process is shared by many.
A more equitable approach to entry fees and recognition in these competitions would be a welcome change.
June Ramli is the editor of DailyStraits.com. To stay in touch with June, look her up on Twitter @junesairaramli