Why Are Artists Pulling Out Of SXSW 2024?


The annual SXSW festival is set to run from March 8 to March 16 this year. However, many of the musical acts are dropping out of the lineup due to the festival’s sponsors, including the US Army.

Why Are Artists Pulling Out Of SXSW 2024?

“Collins Aerospace, a subsidiary of RTX Corporation (formerly Raytheon),” is also on the lineup, according to the Austin Chronicle. Raytheon manufactured weapons for the military — which many artists feel should not have a place at an arts-and-culture festival.

Squirrel Flower (Ella O’Connor Williams) was supposed to perform at several showcases during the fest’s run. “I have decided to pull out of my official SXSW showcases in protest of SXSW’s ties to the defense industry and in support of the Palestinian people,” she shared in a statement.

“There are many ways SXSW is harmful to working musicians, but I am pulling out specifically because of the fact that SXSW is platforming defense contractors including Raytheon subsidiaries as well as the US Army, a main sponsor of the festival,” Williams added.

And she is not alone. Eliza McLamb and Okay Shalom are among some of the other performers who have voiced the fact that they will be leaving SXSW 2024.

“I have pulled out of my official SXSW showcase after learning that the US Army is a major sponsor of the event,” McLamb said. “I will never put my name on or perform my labor for an event in service of the US war machine, and especially not now as they continue to fuel the ongoing violence against Palestinians. Blood money has no place in music.”

With just a few days to go until the festival is set to start, other acts will likely be announcing they will no longer be performing before then.