Holly Cairns TD

Arts Minister Catherine Martin should stand in solidarity with Irish artists who have cancelled appearances at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Texas due to the event’s association with the US military and arms industry, according to Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns.

Deputy Cairns said:

“It is heartening to see a growing number of Irish acts pull out of SXSW after learning the US military is the main sponsor of the festival, which also features several large weapons manufacturers.

“The Irish artists who have cancelled their shows have sacrificed the opportunity to showcase their talents at a high-profile festival on a point of principle.

“They have done this at significant financial cost because they don’t want their work tainted by association with the US military industrial complex.

“Like the majority of Irish people, they are horrified at the slaughter of over 31,000 Palestinians and the forced starvation of Gaza’s population by Israel.

“Under these circumstances, it is wholly inappropriate for Minister Catherine Martin to attend the festival as part of her St Patrick’s Week visit to the United States.

“According to the festival’s programme, the Arts Minister is due to attend the event tomorrow.

“It is deeply disturbing that an Irish Arts Minister would attend a festival sponsored by the US military – particularly when the US is arming Israel as it slaughters tens of thousands of civilians in Gaza.

“For months, I have been asking the Government to follow their strong words on Israel’s massacre in Gaza with action. Are we now to understand that that action doesn’t even include non-attendance at a music festival?

“I applaud the artists who have selflessly decided to boycott this event and am urging the Minister to now follow suit.”

March 12, 2024

Back to all Posts