Greg Abbott Tells Bands Boycotting SXSW Festival over US Army Sponsorship, ‘Don’t Come Back’ to Texas

2024-03-13 13:38:47

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has responded to the dozens of bands who have pulled out of this year’s SXSW Festival in protest of its sponsorship deal with the U.S. Army.

“Bye. Don’t come back,” Abbott wrote Tuesday in a post on X. “We are proud of the U.S. military in Texas. If you don’t like it, don’t come here.”

The band boycott of SXSW comes after the festival signed on the U.S. Army as a “super sponsor.” But many other organizations and companies are also sponsoring this year’s edition, including the sports energy drink C4, Porsche, and the left-wing Austin Chronicle newspaper.

SXSW is also holding a number of events featuring defense contractors and government agencies, including the CIA.

Some of the bands boycotting SXSW appear to have been influenced by a group called Austin for Palestine Coalition, which states on its official site that it is agitating for “a permanent ceasefire in Palestine and dignity for all Palestinians.”

The group also states it is opposed to U.S. defense contractors profiting off of the war in Israel.

On Wednesday, SXSW issued a statement in which it disagreed with Abbott’s stance.

SXSW does not agree with Governor Abbott.

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 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 Army’s sponsorship is part of our commitment to bring forward ideas that shape our world. In regard to Collins Aerospace, they participated this year as a sponsor of two SXSW Pitch categories, giving entrepreneurs visibility and funding for potentially game-changing work.

We have and will 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.

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Greg Abbott Tells Bands Boycotting SXSW Festival over US Army Sponsorship, ‘Don’t Come Back’ to Texas


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