Rolling Stone, Meta Team on Creator-Focused Festival and Event Series, Starting at SXSW

Rolling Stone inked a partnership with Meta — parent company of Facebook and Instagram — for an initiative to host creator experiences at festivals and custom events throughout 2022. The brands will join forces to host “Creator Houses” at some of the biggest music and cultural festivals, beginning with an installation at SXSW.

Variety and Rolling Stone are both owned by P-MRC, a joint venture between Penske Media Corp. and MRC. In April 2021, P-MRC announced a deal to become a partner and shareholder in SXSW.

Rolling Stone and Meta will develop “unique and engaging experiences” for festival attendees to “explore the creative products and tools that support creators’ storytelling ambitions,” including Reels, Meta Quest 2 VR headsets and Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses. The partners will bring together creators, artists, journalists and industry leaders at the creator spaces to participate in conversations about the future of content creation and the creator economy.

“We are thrilled to partner with Meta on this long-term creative endeavor across some of the most culturally significant live events of the year,” said Gus Wenner, CEO of Rolling Stone. “Our shared commitment to champion creators and celebrate artists, made this project deeply meaningful to us. We look forward to bringing this partnership to life throughout the year culminating in Rolling Stone’s Creator’s issue and event in May.”

The first of three Creator House activations will be hosted during SXSW, in Austin, Texas from March 18-19, 2022, with panel discussions and artist showcases highlighting established and emerging talent including Tone Stith and Destiny Rogers. Each Creator House also will have dedicated activations with Meta hardware, Reels and photo sets to create and capture content. Panel topics and participants will be announced at a later date.

“We want to support and empower these creators who build vibrant communities,” said Frank Spada, who leads strategic partner development for entertainment at Meta. “Rolling Stone has defined culture, artistry and creativity for decades, so we are excited to partner with them as we amplify and build for this next generation of innovators.”

At SXSW, Rolling Stone and Meta will also partner with Essentials Creative to showcase work from local Austin artists across a variety of mediums. Essentials Creative is a multimedia collective producing holistic applied arts experiences through photography, graphic design, projection, animation, and more. Their mission is to create a platform for underrepresented artists to express themselves and find support within their field.

As part of the partnership, Rolling Stone and Meta will together launch a new Reels series, “Behind the Creator,” to spotlight emerging creators at each Creator House activation. The series will highlight the ways creators leverage Meta’s products to build community, strengthen their brand and harness economic opportunity.

Following SXSW, Rolling Stone and Meta will team for the Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival in April 2022 with a similar activation, encouraging guests to explore and learn about Meta’s content creation tools available to them through interactive installations. The second Creator House will also coincide with Rolling Stone’s activation during Coachella weekend, with performers to be announced. The partnership will close with a custom event in L.A. timed to coincide with Rolling Stone’s inaugural “Creator’s Issue” in May.

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