Lambrini Girls join list of artists boycotting SXSW: “We can’t affiliate ourselves whatsoever”

Aprilia Rine

Lambrini Girls join list of artists boycotting SXSW: “We can’t affiliate ourselves whatsoever”

Lambrini Girls have become the latest artist to boycott this year’s South By Southwest Festival, saying they “can’t affiliate ourselves whatsoever” with the event.

The Brighton punk band have joined the likes of Scowl, Gel, Okay Shalom and Squirrelflower in pulling out of performing at the festival, which takes place in Austin, Texas from March 12-14.

Artists have taken issue with the event’s sponsorship ties to the US Army, amid the current Israel-Palestine crisis. Some have also pointed to the festival’s ties to the defence contractor RTX Corporation, which has supplied weapons to Israel.

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“We are pulling out of SXSW tomorrow,” the band wrote in a statement posted to social media. “We won’t be going to Austin whatsoever.”

“For transparency, the reason it’s taken us a few days to pull out the festival is because we received funding from PRS Foundation to play. We were trying to find a way to out of the situation whilst keeping our moral integrity in tact and not having to repay thousands of pounds at the same time.”

“That really just isn’t possible. Money has to be repaid and we can’t affiliate ourselves whatsoever with SXSW. Without our solidarity becoming totally inauthentic.”

“We were considering going to the festival and protesting on stage, but there isn’t a way to do that doesn’t feel performative or inherently exploitative.”

The decision comes days after the band posted to celebrate International Women’s Day. “As Allies, we need to show solidarity for our trans friends today,” they wrote, also taking aim at Harry Potter author JK Rowling, following her transphobic past comments. “IWD is for all women. No excuse for pricks like JK Rowling to hijack it with hate. If your *Feminism* is diminishing Women, then you are a misogynist. Trans rights always”.

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The band have a history of speaking out in defence of trans rights, going back to their 2023 track ‘Terf Wars’.

Last year, they criticised Graham Linehan, who has become known in recent years for perpetrating anti-trans sentiments. He has claimed his views have cost him his career and image, and has been issued with a verbal harassment warning by police.

“A disappointing example of a powerful industry head terrified of authentic self expression. He would rather attack individuals trying to affirm it then address their own prejudice. Oh boo boo Graham Linehan you’ve got to shit on others in order to stay relevant. Suck my balls,” they wrote.

In a 2023 interview with NME, vocalist Phoebe Lunny said: “Punk in itself was about inciting positive change, but now, it is literally about fucking men stomping around on stage singing about capitalism, when they all come from fucking five-bedroom houses in Surrey. If you do not get yourselves into these spaces and actually call people out on this fucking bullshit or just try to teach someone a fucking lesson, then it’s not going to change.”

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