TX Governor Responds To Bands Pulling Out Of SXSW Over Military Sponsorship: ‘Bye. Don’t Come Back’

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday responded to music acts pulling out of SXSW, a popular Austin-based entertainment festival. 

Up to 60 bands have announced they aren’t coming due to the festival being sponsored by the U.S. Army and multiple defense contractors, among others. Abbott shared on his personal Twitter account that he doesn’t mind seeing them go. The SXSW Film & TV Festival runs March 8 through March 16.

“Bye. Don’t come back,” the governor wrote. “Austin remains the HQ for the Army Futures Command. San Antonio is Military City USA. We are proud of the U.S. military in Texas. If you don’t like it, don’t come here.”

The U.S. Army is listed on the festival’s website as a “Super Sponsor” along with other companies, including Volkswagen, The Austin Chronicle, Porsche, C4 Energy, and Delta.

“SXSW does not agree with Governor Abbott,” the official SXSW X account began in a thread of posts. “We are an organization that welcomes diverse viewpoints. Music is the soul of SXSW, and it has long been our legacy. We fully respect the decision these artists made to exercise their right to free speech.”

“Across the globe, we are witnessing unspeakable tragedies, the rise of repressive regimes, and the increasing spread of violent conflict. It’s more crucial than ever that we come together to solve these greater humanitarian issues,” the account continued. “The defense industry has historically been a proving ground for many of the systems we rely on today. These institutions are often leaders in emerging technologies, and we believe it’s better to understand how their approach will impact our lives.”

The thread concluded with SXSW saying it would “continue to support human rights for all.”

“The situation in the Middle East is tragic, and it illuminates the heightened importance of standing together against injustice,” the X thread concluded.


The group Austin for Palestine Coalition encouraged SXSW to disinvite any contractors who aided the Israel Defense Forces and to “use its platform to raise awareness about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and advocate for peace, justice, and the protection of human rights.”

Several musical artists posted about their decision to drop out, including singer Eliza Lamb, who wrote, “I will never put my name on or perform my labor for an event in service of the US war machine, and especially not now as they continue to fuel the ongoing violence against Palestinians.”


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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  TX Governor Responds To Bands Pulling Out Of SXSW Over Military Sponsorship: ‘Bye. Don’t Come Back’