SXSW News: Brawl Closes Gypsy Lounge
London MC and headliner forced to cancel festival showcase
By Chase Hoffberger,
8:59AM, Fri. Mar. 20, 2015
London grime veteran Skepta got thwarted Thursday night after a fight broke out at the Gypsy Lounge that led to management closing the SXSW venue for the evening.
The altercation’s origins remain unclear, but eyewitnesses tell the Chronicle it took three constables and pepper spray to break up the brawl. With venue staff, police evacuated the building so the spray haze could dissipate. Even so, the East Sixth Street club didn’t reopen.
A public information officer assigned to the Austin Center for Events confirmed no arrests were made and no corresponding medical records were filed in area hospitals.
The situation might be filed under random Festival chaos if not for the fact the Gypsy is set to host this year’s edition of the ever-combustive Death Match party thrown by Converse and Thrasher magazine. The skate-punk/hip-hop hybrid previously operated at the Scoot Inn until Tyler, the Creator was arrested last year for inciting a riot. Today’s afternoon lineup includes Natural Child, Jeff the Brotherhood, the Spits, and Wavves.
Thursday, those on the scene report the fight broke out close to 8pm, around the time that Cool Kid alum Sir Mikey Rocks was scheduled to perform. New Jersey duo Da$h & Retch were to follow, then Chynna and eventually Skepta. Da$h, Retch, and Chynna all affiliate with Harlem’s A$AP Mob.
This isn’t the first time the Mob’s been tied to a disturbance during SXSW. In 2011, a fight at the Fader Fort left one stagehand in the hospital. The next year at a Vice party, members of A$AP jumped into the crowd to fight fans who’d spent the show throwing beer bottles on stage. On Wednesday, a friend of mine on Sixth Street said they got inadvertently slammed up against the Palm Door’s outside wall and gassed with pepper spray after A$AP Mob breadwinner A$AP Rocky and some friends rolled up to the venue with a little too much gusto.
As far as we can tell, A$AP Rocky doesn’t have any more action on the docket. He was scheduled to perform his official showcase at the Samsung Milk Music Lounge late Thursday. No one’s reported any beatdowns over there.
Kevin Curtin contributed reporting to this story.