Multiple bands that were expected to perform at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival have pulled out of the lineup because of the U.S. Army’s “super sponsorship” of the event and the nation’s support of Israel’s war on Hamas.

The festival set in Austin, Texas, has reportedly lost “dozens of artists and bands” in protest of the sponsorship, claiming it has supplied weapons “supporting their violent oppression of the Palestinian people.”

The organization, Austin For Palestine Coalition called for the protest and boycott of the festival back in February, according to Fox News.

“SXSW must disinvite Raytheon (RTX), its subsidiary Collins Aerospace, and BAE Systems to the conference and festivals in the city of Austin,” the organization wrote in an Instagram post. “Raytheon, Collins Aerospace and BAE Systems have direct ties to the arming of Israel, supporting their violent oppression of the Palestinian people. Raytheon manufactures missiles, bombs, and other weapon systems for the Israeli military to use against Palestinians.”

Why did bands pull out of SXSW festival?

The Hill reported that Kneecap, an Ireland-based rap trio scheduled to perform at the festival, called the sponsorship “depraved” in light of the war on Gaza.

The group posted a statement on X saying, “We cannot in good conscience attend an arts festival that has the U.S. Army as a ‘super sponsor’ and is platforming RTX (formerly Raytheon), Collins Aerospace and BAE Systems, the very companies selling the weapons that have murdered 31,000 Palestinians, over 21,000 of them women and children.”

Another artist who pulled out of the festival, Shalom, took to Instagram to say, “there’s always a right thing to do and it’s almost never as complicated as the establishment wants you to believe. And sometimes it costs you a dream, but a dream is a dream and not a life.”

Lambrini Girls, a U.K. indie band said in their statement on the event, “We can’t affiliate ourselves whatsoever with SXSW. Without our solidarity becoming totally inauthentic.”

What did Gov. Abbott say in response to SXSW protest?

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott responded to the news of bands pulling out of SXSW writing that Austin remains a headquarters for the Army Futures Command.

“Bands pull out of SXSW over U.S. Army sponsorship. Bye. Don’t come back. Austin remains the HQ for the Army Futures Command. San Antonio is Military City USA. We are proud of the U.S. military in Texas. If you don’t like it, don’t come here,” Abbott posted on X.

In a response to Abbott’s post, SXSW released a statement supporting performers that chose to withdraw from the event and emphasized that they do not agree with Abbott and encourage diverse thoughts on the issue.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the festival runs from March 8-16 this year with a typical attendance of over 300,000 people with “more than 1,500 musical acts performed last year.”