By Stephen Lepitak

Ride-sharing app Lyft is using its sponsorship of SXSW as the official partner of the festival to heighten its support of local music in the city.

The company has supported the festival, which started as, and continues to be, a major music festival through a number of initiatives for the duration of SXSW.

This has included Lyft House, a branded pit stop area for drivers to relax, eat, drink and play computer games when in need of a rest from the slow traffic that is caused by festival congestion.

“We elevate each other’s brands,” said Aaron Fox, Lyft’s general manager, for Austin. “SXSW has always been about discovery and exploration which is what our driver drive towards, they are driving to support their dreams. For us, operationally it’s our biggest week of the year at three time the normal earnings for drivers, and then locally it’s an opportunity. Austin is the live capital of music and locally we are doing a lot to support the music scene here and that is an opportunity to elevate those partnerships.”

Those partnerships include work with the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) which is the round up and donate partner and the second is the Musician Rideshare programme, which sees Lyft work with local venues to provide free rides to local musicians to make it easy for them to get to gigs and not worry about parking issues.

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