Newswire: UPDATE: Artists call SXSW immigration statement “xenophobic,” “utterly misleading”

Yesterday, a tweet by musician Felix Walworth set off a storm of controversy online, stating that Walworth would be canceling their appearance as a member of Told Slant at the festival, thanks to a clause in the artist contract saying that the festival could refer international artists to immigration for playing unofficial shows at the festival. (Unofficial shows are common practice at SXSW, with some artists playing multiple shows a day.)

The clause was not new—it had been part of SXSW contracts since 2013—and SXSW managing director Roland Swenson said that it would only be invoked if “if somebody did something really horrific, like disobey rules about pyrotechnics, starting a brawl, or if they killed somebody.” Later in the day, Swenson released a lengthy statement explaining the festival’s logic that reads, in part, “We understand that given the current political climate surrounding immigration, the language that was …

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