Bands cancel SXSW appearance over Army sponsorship, Texas GOP Gov. Abbott says 'don't come back'

"If you don’t like it, don’t come here," Abbott said.
Greg Abbott, National Guard, Eagle Pass, Texas, Feb. 4, 2024

Bands canceling their scheduled appearance at the annual, liberal-leaning SXSW festival in Texas because of the U.S. Army's sponsorship this year got a clear sendoff from GOP Gov. Greg Abbott, "Don't come back."

Abbott responded Tuesday after several bands including Kneecap, Lambrini Girls and Squirrel Flower said over the weekend they won't perform.

“We cannot in good conscience attend an arts festival that has the U.S. Army as a ‘super sponsor’ and is platforming RTX (formerly Raytheon), Collins Aerospace and BAE Systems, the very companies selling the weapons that have murdered 31,000 Palestinians, over 21,000 of them women and children,” Kneecap posted on X.

South by Southwest, abbreviated as SXSW, is an annual film festival that features music performances, film events, confernances and interactive media.

Among the entertainers still set to perform at the event – March 8-16 – are actress Sydney Sweeney and the band The Black Keys.

Previous performers and speakers include former President Obama and singer Billie Eilish. 

"Bands pull out of SXSW over U.S. Army sponsorship," Abbott posted on X. "Bye. Don’t come back. 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."