“We refuse to participate in the war machine." Scowl, Gel, Sprints, Lambrini Girls and more pull out of SXSW Festival in protest at festival's US Army links

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A host of artists have pulled out of this year's SXSW Festival in protest at the festival's sponsorship by the US Army. The world famous music, arts and culture festival, which is currently running across various venues in Austin, Texas until March 16, has the US Army as a "super sponsor", which has proved controversial with some bands due to the US Military's support of Israel in the ongoing Gaza conflict. 

Brighton punks Lambrini girls, US hardcore bands Scowl and Gel and Dublin post-punk crew Sprints are amongst the names to have cancelled their SXSW appearances so far, with Lambrini Girls noting in a social media post last week that they "won’t be going to Austin whatsoever.”

"We can’t affiliate ourselves whatsoever with SXSW," they added, "without our solidarity becoming totally inauthentic.”

Santa Cruz hardcore bands Scowl, meanwhile, confirmed that they are "no longer performing at any of our previously scheduled ‘official’ SXSW showcases. We came to this decision in protest of the U.S. Army’s sponsorship of SXSW. As well as the involvement of RTX (formerly Raytheon), Collins Aerospace, and BAE Systems whom have direct ties to the manufacturing and supplying of weapons used against Palestinians." They added that they will "still be performing at our scheduled unofficial showcases.”

Yesterday (Monday March 11), Sprints became one of the latest bands to join the SXSW exodus, confirming on social media that they would not be playing their planned set at the festival “in solidarity with the Palestinian people and as a stand against the US army sponsorship and defence contractor involvement”.

SXSW are yet to have publicly commented on the situation.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.