A possible controversy for the Austin festival.
Felix Walworth, leader of Brooklyn indie-pop band Told Slant, announced via Twitter that the group would be canceling their performances at SXSW after receiving a contract that suggests the festival will report undocumented performers to the authorities.
After looking through this contract sent to me by sxsw I have decided to cancel Told Slant's performance at the festival pic.twitter.com/rI2Xv0duJl
— Told Slant (@Felixixix666) March 2, 2017
Walworth alleges that the above screenshot is from his contract to perform at the festival, which starts later this month. FACT has reached out to SXSW for authentication.
Earlier this week, it a SXSW showcase featuring artists targeted by Trump’s immigration ban was announced.
Update: SXSW CEO and co-founder has released an official statement regarding the controversy.
“SXSW has been vocal in its opposition to President Trump’s Travel Ban and is working hard to build a coalition of attorneys to assist artists with issues at U.S. ports of entry during the event. We have artists from 62 countries from around the world performing and have always supported our international music community. We have never reported international showcasing artists to immigration authorities.
We were sorry to learn that one of our invited performers chose to cancel his performance at this year’s SXSW Music Festival due to a misunderstanding of our policies regarding international artists.
We understand that given the current political climate surrounding immigration, the language that was published seems strong. Violating U.S. immigration law has always carried potentially severe consequences, and we would be remiss not to warn our participating acts of the likely repercussions.
Language governing SXSW’s ability to protect a showcase has been in the artist Performance Agreement for many years. It is, and always was intended to be, a safeguard to provide SXSW with a means to respond to an act that does something truly egregious, such as disobeying our rules about pyrotechnics on stage, starting a brawl in a club, or causing serious safety issues.”