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The Roots’ SXSW show cancelled due to bomb threat

By | Published on Monday 19 March 2018

The Roots

A performance by The Roots at SXSW was cancelled on Saturday, following a bomb threat. Police found no evidence of a real danger, but the decision was made to pull the Bud Light branded show. A 26 year old man was later arrested and charged under anti-terrorism laws.

According to a police statement, a Live Nation rep contacted authorities on Saturday afternoon, informing them that a threat had been made in relation to the show via email. A check of the venue found no device. Initially the show, which had been open to people without festival passes, changed its door policy to only allow in those with said passes. However, shortly before doors were due to open the decision was made to cancel the gig.

Bud Light said via Twitter that “due to a security concern we have made the hard decision to cancel tonight’s event”. It added that “the safety of all fans at SXSW is our most important priority”.

In its own statement, SXSW said: “Due to a security concern, we have made the difficult decision to cancel tonight’s Bud Light x The Roots SXSW Jam. After working proactively with SXSW, the Austin Police Department, and other authorities, Bud Light believes this is the best course of action to ensure the safety of our guests, staff, and artists, and appreciate your understanding. We are truly sorry to have to cancel the event, but we felt it was necessary to take all safety precautions”.

Security concerns were raised at SXSW three years ago, when a car fleeing police crashed into a queue of people outside a gig venue, resulting in several deaths. A report subsequently commissioned by the festival highlighted various security improvements – while suggesting that the event might need to move to a bigger city.

Concerns over attacks on music events have been further heightened by a number of incidents in recent years – most recently in the US, the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.

Despite this, many responded to this weekend’s cancellation on Twitter by complaining. Some suggesting that the show had actually been pulled due to lack of interest. Responding to one fan who complained that their night had been ruined by the show’s organisers, The Roots’ Questlove replied: “Uh come on now. If you gonna point fingers, start with the individual who caused it to be cancelled”.