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Several Bands Are Backing Out of SXSW Due to the Festival’s Contract

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On March 2nd, Told Slant posted on Twitter that they’re canceling their SXSW Music Festival performance in Austin this year due to the festival’s contract, and other musicians are said to be following suit.

The Guardian reports that the SXSW festival officials say this is how their contract has always been, and they’ve taken a public stance against Trump’s travel ban, so they don’t intend for the contract to look supportive of immigration fears. Managing director, Roland Swenson, stated, “In the post-Trump era, it looks different than how it was intended, and how it was received in the past…”

Regardless of how long the clauses have been in the musician contracts, the wording seems severe to many, and it’s finally come to light. Entertainment lawyer Brian Goldstein told KVUE, “This goes into a wacky extreme.” He says that while it’s normal to say traveling musicians need to get a visa and make sure everything’s legal or their show will be canceled, it’s odd to say, “‘We’re going to rat you out.’…This was probably drafted by some corporate attorney that has no idea what they were talking about .”

SXSW says they will revise their contract and its wording for the 2018 festival.