SXSW Music News: Stormy Friday

Wind, rain, and a weapon torments SXSW on Friday night

Cold winds started suddenly, 90 minutes past midnight, after the storm had seemingly gone out like a lamb. It was enough to peel paper off light poles and send tumbleweeds of concert fliers shooting down Fourth Street outside the Austin Convention Center. Miracle of miracles that I wasn’t blown into traffic on my bone-chilling bike ride home.

“For attendees in the Auditorium Shores area (SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake), seek shelter at the Palmer Events Terrace or the Long Center parking garage. Do not stand under tents during severe weather conditions,” read SXSW’s website.

Willie Nelson’s daylong Luck Reunion at his private, onetime movie set/town façade was evacuated Friday due to Texas’ infamous inclement weather. (Photo by Gary Miller)

Subsequently, the free concert at Auditorium Shores was canceled before headliner Coheed & Cambria could take the stage. Outside of town to the west, Willie Nelson’s annual mini festival in Luck was evacuated due to severe weather – though it restarted later in the small, indoor chapel stage. Major unofficial attraction Fader Fort was also cleared out and all of its Friday programming canceled.

Meanwhile, other outdoor gigs continued. After waiting out the rain, Santigold went on at Stubb’s and Flo Rida on the McGarrah Jessee Rooftop. Indeed, by 9pm, the sky had dried and wet ponchos were tossed in the trash in favor of T-shirts.

As fantastic British rapper Jay Prince wowed a crowd at Karma Lounge, local municipal Twitter handle @AustinTexasGov alerted, “Austin Music Hall cleared for safety reasons, more details to follow.” The Hall was hosting the Beer n Tacos showcase, headlined by 2 Chainz. The large concert venue is enjoying its last hurrah before demolition this coming week.

An Austin Police Department officer standing outside the venue, which had been evacuated, revealed that while Houston rapper Trae tha Truth performed to a capacity crowd, members of two other artists’ entourages pushed past security and entered the club. He said one individual with a firearm was seen, which prompted the APD’s arrival. The gun had not been pointed at anyone.

By the time law enforcement were on the scene, it was suspected that the man seen with the gun had left, but it wasn’t clear. According to the officer, it was SXSW and not APD that pulled the plug on the show. Call it a no-brainer.

From the 2004 onstage murder of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott of Texas thrash metal legends Pantera to the mass shooting in Paris during an Eagles of Death Metal performance last November, a zero tolerance policy for weapons at concerts is now a given.

SXSW Director Roland Swenson confirmed the APD officer’s detailing, but noted that the decision to clear the venue was a consensus agreed upon by SXSW, APD, and Austin Music Hall’s management.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

Playback: Biggest Austin Music Stories of 2016
Playback: Biggest Austin Music Stories of 2016
Looking back on the biggest Music news headlines of the year

Kevin Curtin, Dec. 23, 2016

Playback: Welcome to Terrordome: Sixth Street During SXSW
Playback: Welcome to Terrordome: Sixth Street During SXSW
Appraising APD's solution to Sixth Street during SXSW

Kevin Curtin, April 8, 2016

More by Kevin Curtin
Review: Willie Nelson, <i>Bluegrass</i>
Review: Willie Nelson, Bluegrass
Late-career genre exercise disappoints

Sept. 29, 2023

Austin Bicycle Meals Offers Pedal-Powered Distribution to the Streets
Austin Bicycle Meals Offers Pedal-Powered Distribution to the Streets
Meals on (two) wheels

Sept. 29, 2023


SXSW, SXSW Music 2016, Jay Prince, Trae tha Truth, 2 Chainz, Roland Swenson, Willie Nelson, Fader Fort, 2 Chainz, Pantera

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle