Bomb Scares, Explosions Put Damper on South by Southwest Festival
The 2018 edition of the South by Southwest festival came to a close yesterday (Mar. 18), and while it went off without a hitch, for the most part, there was a bit of a black cloud over the proceedings due to a series of explosions and bomb scares in Austin, Tex. during the 10 day long event.
The state capital has been on high alert all month as four package bombs have exploded, including one last night (Mar. 18), which injured two men. The first bomb went off at a home in Austin March 2, taking the life of a 39-year-old man. Two more exploded in the region March 12, killing a 17-year-old, wounding his mother and a 75-year-old woman. All of the bombs have exploded in the residential area of Travis County, and police have asked that people living in the neighborhood in southwest Austin to remain in their homes until the area has been properly cleared.
According to Deadline, authorities saw no link between the bombings and SXSW as the explosions took place a good deal away from the festival venues in the heart of downtown Austin. There were fears, though, when a bomb threat was e-mailed into Fair Market, the venue The Roots were scheduled to play on Saturday (Mar. 17) afternoon. The performance by Philadelphia hip-hop collective and house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon was subsequently canceled.
“Due to a security concern we have made the hard decision to cancel tonight's event," tweeted Bud Light, the sponsor for the performance. "Your safety and the safety of all fans at SXSW is our most important priority. ”
"No one is [more] 'Mr-show-must-go-on' than me," tweeted Roots drummer Questlove. "But we can’t risk our lives if we are told there was a bomb threat. I’m sure we will return to Austin ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for understanding."
Thankfully, the threat turned out to be a hoax, and the Austin Police Department arrested 26-year-old Trevor Weldon Ingram, charging him with felony charges of making a terror threat. According to the @austintexasgov, Ingram allegedly emailed Live Nation Music on Saturday afternoon saying that there was a bomb planted at near Fair Market. A sweep of the area turned up nothing.
Regarding the four bombs which have gone off, the reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever is responsible for the explosions has been raised by $50,000. It now totals $115,000.
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