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Scowl and Gel pull out of SXSW: “We refuse to participate in the war machine”

Scowl and Gel have become the latest bands to pull out of SXSW over the event’s ties to the US Army amid the current Israel-Hamas conflict.

The festival will take place in Austin, Texas from March 12-14 but has already seen numerous artists who have pledged their support to Palestine pull out because the US Army sponsors the event. Eliza McLamb, Okay Shalom and Squirrelflower have all dropped off the line-up, the latter of whom also pointed to the festival’s ties to the defense contractor RTX Corporation, which has supplied weapons to Israel.

Now, two more bands have also announced that they are pulling out. In a statement posted to X/Twitter, Scowl said: “Scowl is no longer performing at any of our previously scheduled ‘official’ SXSW showcases.

“We came to this decision in protest of the US Army’s sponsorship of SXSW. As well as the involvement of RTX (formerly Raytheon), Collins Aerospace and BAE Systems who have direct ties to the manufacturing and supply of weapons used against Palestinians.

They continued: “We refuse to be complicit in the face of genocide in Palestine. We refuse to participate in the war machine.”

Scowl will still perform at an unofficial showcase put on by their label, Flatspot Records.

Meanwhile, Gel said: “We will be pulling out of all official SXSW shows next week.

“There’s no reason for @sxsw to involve the music of our peers and music at large with the US Army and defense companies that are actively committing and/or complicit in genocide.

“Free Palestine.”

Last year’s edition of SXSW saw the likes of Anderson .Paak as DJ Pee .Wee, Bartees Strange, Blondshell, Bellah, Venbee, Genesis Owusu, Boygenius, 070 Shake and more perform.

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