Following on from SXSW, Scowl drop out of Welcome To Rockville festival due to US Army sponsorship

3 weeks ago 10

Scowl have announced that they have pulled out of Welcome To Rockville Festival next month, due to the US Army’s sponsorship of the event.

The Californian hardcore band confirmed the news on their social media accounts yesterday (April 2).

“We will not be performing at this year’s Welcome To Rockville Festival in Daytona Beach, FL due to the US Army’s Sponsorship of the event,” the band wrote in a post on X.

The hard rock and metal festival, which is taking place in Daytona Beach, Florida from May 9-12 this year, has its full list of commercial partners listed here, including the US Army.

We will not be performing at this year's
Welcome To Rockville Festival in Daytona Beach, FL due to the US Army’s Sponsorship of the event.

— SCOWL (@Scowl40831) April 2, 2024

NME has contacted Welcome To Rockville for a response to Scowl’s decision.

This year’s edition of the festival is set to be headlined by Foo Fighters, Slipknot, Motley Crue and Limp Bizkit. Joining them on the bill are acts including Judas Priest, Greta Van Fleet, Queens of the Stone Age, Sum 41, Disturbed, Primus and Anthrax.

Scowl were one of the first bands to similarly withdraw from SXSW last month for the same sponsorship connection with the US Army.

At the time, the band wrote: “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.

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

Gruff RhysKneecap, Sprints, Soda Blonde, Gavin James, Robert Grace, Mick Flannery, Chalk, Gurriers, Lambrini Girls, GelRachel ChinouririCardinals and NewDad all eventually pulled out from SXSW, as well as every Irish act on the bill.

In light of the withdrawals, SXSW released a statement regarding all of the bands and artists who have been pulling out of the festival, saying: “We are an organisation that welcomes diverse viewpoints. Music is the soul of SXSW, and it has long been our legacy. We fully respect the decision these artists made to exercise their right to free speech.”

Explaining its sponsorship with the US Army, SXSW wrote: “The defence industry has historically been a proving ground for many of the systems we rely on today. These institutions are often leaders in emerging technologies, and we believe it’s better to understand how their approach will impact our lives.”

“The Army’s sponsorship is part of our commitment to bring forward ideas that shape our world. In regard to Collins Aerospace, they participated this year as a sponsor of two SXSW Pitch categories, giving entrepreneurs visibility and funding for potentially game-changing work.”

SXSW concluded: “We have and will continue to support human rights for all. The situation in the Middle East is tragic, and it illuminates the heightened importance of standing together against injustice.”

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