Texas Gov Lashes Out at Bands Decrying U.S. Army Sponsoring SXSW

(ConservativeInsider.org) – On Tuesday, March 12, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott defiantly responded to music acts that decided to withdraw from the SXSW festival in Austin. Approximately 60 music bands have declared they will not perform because the festival has sponsorship from the U.S. Army and defense contractors.

Abbott took to X (formerly Twitter) to express his stance, stating, “Bye. Don’t come back,” adding that Austin is home to the Army Futures Command and San Antonio is known as Military City USA. He proudly affirmed Texas’s support for the U.S. military and asserted that those who disagree are not obliged to visit Texas.

The festival’s website lists the U.S. Army as a “Super Sponsor” alongside other companies such as Volkswagen, The Austin Chronicle, Porsche, C4 Energy, and Delta.

SXSW responded to Abbott’s remarks by affirming their openness to diverse viewpoints. They emphasized that music is the heart of SXSW and reiterated their respect for artists’ freedom of speech.

Additionally, they acknowledged the importance of collective action in addressing global issues, including the contributions of the defense industry to technological advancements.

Some groups, like the Austin for Palestine Coalition, urged SXSW to disinvite contractors who support the Israel Defense Forces. They advocated for the festival to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and to promote peace and justice.

Several artists announced their withdrawal from the festival – for instance, Hit songwriter Eliza Lamb stated her refusal to perform at an event endorsing the U.S. war machine, especially amidst ongoing violence against Palestinians.

SXSW defended its decision to involve the defense industry, citing their role in technological progress. They highlighted Collins Aerospace’s sponsorship of SXSW Pitch categories to support entrepreneurs with innovative ideas.

However, some fans criticized SXSW’s stance, questioning whether the festival had returned the Army’s sponsorship money. They also pointed out the irony of bands boycotting a festival that supports the freedoms they enjoy.

The festival contributes over $350 million to Austin’s economy through its TV, tech, film, and music events.

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