Texas Governor Argues With Music Festival

March 14, 2024

Texas Governor Argues With Music Festival

You are currently viewing Texas Governor Argues With Music Festival
The SXSW festival in the past draws a huge crowd.
  • Post category:News

The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has started some beef with the major Texas based music festival, SXSW, a.k.a. South by Southwest. The festival, also famous for its film and television portion of the festival in which many indie projects premiere, recently had upwards of 60 musical acts pull out of their performances. The festival, held in Austin, is sponsored by the U.S. Army, which is ultimately why so many acts backed out of the festival. In addition to the sponsorship, some defense contractors have even been a part of the festival’s conference programs.

After the bands backed out, Governor Abbott turned to X, formerly known as Twitter, and tweeted, “Bye. Don’t come back.”

Governor Abbott continued his tweet on his personal account, discussing how he and Texas are proud of the U.S. military and the strong hold they have in the state. He wrote about how Austin is “the HQ for the Army Future Command” and how San Antonio is the “Military City USA.” He ended his tweet by saying “If you don’t like it, don’t come here.” The music festival from here went into damage control mode.

The official South by Southwest account on X responded to his tweets. In the festival’s post, the representatives of SXSW stated they do not agree with the Governor and his stance on the matter. They continued to say that the festival is a welcoming community that invites diverse standpoints. In the post, they went as far as to call music “the soul of SXSW.” They ended their statement by saying that they fully respect the artists’ decisions to back out of their performances by exercising “their right to free speech.”

Largely, the bands backed out to show support for Palestine in the fight against continued Israeli occupation.

A group known as the Austin for Palestine Coalition organized a webpage called the No Warmongers at SXSW 2024. The page shows the roles that each defense contractor that has been included in the festival has played in the occupation. They called on artists and attendees to speak up on the issue, as well as calling on the festival itself to uninvite these organizations. Thus far the only action taken has been the roughly 60 bands backing out of the event and SXSW claiming they support this decision.

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