Austin-based music festival South By Southwest announced that it will not be sponsored by the U.S. Army or Raytheon in 2025. Over 80 artists and panelists pulled out of the 2024 festival in protest of its acceptance of funding from companies that engage in arms manufacturing and the U.S. Army.

A statement posted to their official website reads:

"After careful consideration, we are revising our sponsorship model. As a result, the US Army, and companies who engage in weapons manufacturing, will not be sponsors of SXSW 2025."

Some protesters took to the stage to voice their distaste for last year's sponsors. Others simply didn't show up for the festival at all.

South By Southwest kicked off its very first festival in 1987 and has only grown more popular each year. The festival features music, art, comedy, and interactive exhibits in the heart of our capital's historic downtown. Performers, artists, and panelists travel from far and wide to enjoy the festival each year.

I've seen some truly incredible performances at SXSW over the years, but I'm glad I didn't go last March when everyone dropped out over the sponsorships. I can only imagine the disappointment felt by those who came from far away to see their favorite artists.

What do you think about sponsorships by the U.S. Army and weapon manufacturers? Is everyone bent out of shape for no reason? Or do you think they are justified in their protest? Tell me in a comment below this article wherever you come across it.

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