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Two Hardcore Bands Boycotting SXSW Over Military Ties Scheduled to Play U.S. Army-Sponsored Festival Later This Year

'We came to this decision in protest of the U.S. Army's sponsorship of SXSW,' Scowl said in a statement. 'We refuse to participate in the war machine.'

Source: MEGA

Scowl and Gel are boycotting SXSW over its ties to the U.S. military, but both bands are scheduled to perform at the U.S. Army-sponsored Welcome to Rockville event in May.

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Dozens of artists dropped out of SXSW in recent days due to concerns about the festival's ties to the military, but at least two of those bands are scheduled to play a different event sponsored by the U.S. Army later this month.

The hardcore acts Scowl and Gel are still included on the bill for Welcome to Rockville, a four-day festival in Daytona Beach, Florida, scheduled to begin on May 9. The U.S. Army is listed as one of the event's sponsors.

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A spokesperson for Scowl declined Q's request for comment and directed the outlet to the band's previous statement about SXSW, which does not mention anything about Welcome to Rockville.

"We came to this decision in protest of the U.S. Army's sponsorship of SXSW," the band said. "We refuse to participate in the war machine… We refuse to be complicit in the face of genocide in Palestine."

The full statement is available in its entirety at the end of this article.

Gel and its representatives did not immediately respond to Q's request for comment. The only statement about the SXSW boycott on the band's social media is a retweet of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's post telling the demonstrating artists not to come back to the state.

"Bro is so mad at us," the band wrote with a laughing emoji.

Scowl shared a Kerrang! thinkpiece which quotes the band's statement in an Instagram story on Friday, March 15.

"For punk, rock and metal bands making music that defends the underdog and rejects the status quo, where we play is just as important as what we say in lyrics," Janey Starling wrote.

"It’s heartening to see so many bands publicly withdraw from SXSW, which has in-turn put a media spotlight on Palestinian liberation."

The Israeli military has killed more than 31,000 people in Gaza since October. The campaign followed a surprise attack from Hamas on southern Israel which killed roughly 1,200 people. About 200 people were kidnapped into Gaza. More than 100 of those people have not been returned.

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Source: MEGA

Dozens of other bands have joined the effort, which was lambasted by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

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In an illustration of the complicated ties between music, commerce and politics, Scowl's music was recently used in a Taco Bell commercial, and Scowl performed at the chain's "unofficial halftime show" during the Women's World Cup last year.

Taco Bell and its parent company Yum! Brands have ties to the U.S. military. There's a Taco Bell in the Pentagon and others located on U.S. military bases around the globe. Yum! Brands has also been the target of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement – which the Kerrang! article promotes – for its reported investment in Israeli startups.

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SXSW has released a statement opposing Abbott's condemnation of the boycotting bands.

"We are an organization that welcomes diverse viewpoints," the festival said.

"Music is the soul of SXSW, and it has long been our legacy. We fully respect the decision these artists made to exercise their right to free speech. Across the globe, we are witnessing unspeakable tragedies, the rise of repressive regimes, and the increasing spread of violent conflict. It’s more crucial than ever that we come together to solve these greater humanitarian issues."

This statement came after one person was killed and another was injured in a hit-and-run earlier this week near one of the festival's event spaces in downtown Austin.

Source: MEGA

Selena Gomez took part in a SXSW panel earlier this week.

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Check out Scowl's full statement below:

"Scowl is 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.

"We refuse to be complicit in the face of genocide in Palestine.

"We refuse to participate in the war machine.

"We will still be performing at our scheduled unofficial showcases."


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