Irish artists pull out of international SXSW festival due to boycott

There was great buzz when 12 acts from Ireland and Northern Ireland were confirmed to play iconic American festival, SXSW.

However this week all 12 announced that they had pulled out of the festival.

They each confirmed that this decision was made in solidarity with the people of Gaza, citing the US Army’s sponsorship of the Texas event.

Kneecap was one of the first artists to announce their withdrawal from the festival, they also cited the presence of a subsidiary company of weapons manufacturer RTX Corporation at SXSW.


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A post shared by KNEECAP (@kneecap32)

In their statement, the Northern Irish band wrote: “It is done in solidarity with the people of Palestine and to highlight the unacceptable deep links the festival has to weapons companies and the US military who at this very moment are enabling a genocide and famine against a trapped population.”

Irish bands Soda Blonde and Sprints also cited RTX Corporation’s presence as a reason to not be involved.

Soda Blonde stated that they could not perform at a festival that went against the band’s “core principles and values”.


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A post shared by Soda Blonde (@sodablonde)

“This information has prompted deep concern within our group, particularly in light of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Palestine – a situation exacerbated by the US government’s provision of arms to Israel,” their statement read.

“The decision to involve entities directly linked to the global arms trade, and by extension the ongoing atrocities in Palestine, is not just tone-deaf; it’s morally reprehensible.”

Gavin James also confirmed he would no longer be performing at the festival where the US Army is a “super sponsor”.


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A post shared by Gavin James (@gavinjameslive)

In his statement, he said that “music and art should always stand on the side of peace and humanity”.

“I will never support any event that is associated with weapons of war,” he said.

The full list of Irish artists who have pulled out include Chalk, Gavin James, Kneecap, Mick Flannery, Robert Grace, Soda Blonde, SPRINTS, Gurriers, NewDad, Cardinals, Enola Gay and Conchur White.


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