Do Nothing join Kneecap, Lambrini Girls, Sprints and more in boycotting SXSW 2024

There’s been a wave of artists boycotting the festival due to its links to the US army and the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

Photo: Emma Swann

A number of artists due to play SXSW Festival - which will take place from 12th to 14th March in Austin, Texas - have confirmed that they are pulling out of their SXSW gigs to show solidarity for the people of Palestine and to protest against the festival’s “decision to mix the arts with the military and weapons companies” (KNEECAP, via Twitter/X).

Do Nothing are one of the latest bands to have done so, taking to social media last night (11th March) to explain that “we feel deeply uncomfortable performing at an event sponsored by those who profit from genocide. The arts should have no ties to these forces, and we feel a duty to resist them where we can.”

KNEECAP, Lambrini Girls, Sprints, and BODEGA are also among those to have renounced their attendance of and performance at SXSW over the past week, citing its financial ties to the US Army - who are “proud to serve as a SXSW super sponsor this year” - and the defence contractor RTX Corporation, who supply weapons to the Israeli government.

Explaining their decision on Twitter/X and Instagram, KNEECAP have commented: “We have made the decision to cancel our three shows at SXSW and not travel to Austin as planned on Tuesday. It is done in solidarity with the people of Palestine and to highlight the unacceptable deep links the festival has with weapons companies and the US military who at this very moment are enabling a genocide and famine against a trapped population.”

You can read KNEECAP’s full statement below:

Lambrini Girls, who were due to receive funding from PRS Foundation to play, have similarly confirmed that “[they] were trying to find a way out of the situation whilst keeping our moral integrity in tact and not having to repay thousands of pounds at the same time. This really just isn’t possible. Money has to be repaid and we can’t affiliate ourselves whatsoever with SXSW. Without our solidarity becoming totally inauthentic.”

Also boycotting this year’s showcase are Squirrel Flower, Holiday Ghosts, GEL, Scowl, and more. SXSW has a reputation as being a tastemaking, industry-centric festival that gives its performing artists the opportunity to gain exposure and connect with agents, bookers, managers, and labels. However, it’s also known for being a huge financial undertaking for performers, many of whom need to put on special gigs in order to fundraise the money to go (as the Guardian reports, fees for SXSW 2024 are $350 for bands and $150 for solo artists).

You can read the statements of boycott issued by Sprints, BODEGA, and Squirrel Flower below.

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Tags: BODEGA, Kneecap, Lambrini Girls, Sprints, SXSW, News, Festivals

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