By ALLIE SIMON
On March 16, a bomb threat at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas, resulted in the cancellation of a performance by The Roots.
The event, sponsored by Bud Light, was cancelled at 4:30 p.m. via Twitter, following a bomb threat that had been sent through email to the Live Nation Music event promotion company. Bud Light tweeted, “your safety and the safety of all fans at SXSW is our most important priority.”
Twitter effectively helped to cancel the show and publicize news of the bomb threat. Bud Light representatives took to twitter to say that as information is made available, it will be posted on Twitter. Austin police arrested 26-year-old Trevor Weldon Ingram as the main suspect of the threat. Ingram was charged for making a terroristic threat – a third-degree felony in the United States.
Before the arrest, police were already scared of ongoing bombings in Austin. The threat came a few days after homemade bombs exploded in the city, resulting in two fatalities and three injuries. Two packages exploded at Austin homes on March 12 and March 2.
According to neighbors, the packages were so powerful that windows and walls of houses blocks away shook when the bombs went off. The explosive devices inside the packages were detonated when the residents picked them up.
According to The New York Times, Austin civilians have been warned to call 911 in the case of receiving any suspicious packages. Since the warning, the phone lines at the police station have been consistently busy with news of suspicious packages.
Police have not ruled out the incidents as being hate crimes, as the two victims of the bombings were African-Americans whose families were very involved in the community.
The bomb threat at SXSW targeted The Roots concert – a primarily African-American hip hop group. The Roots were supposed to be performing alongside several other musicians including Ludacris, Rapsody and Tank and the Bangas, who are also African-American performers.
The Roots drummer, Questlove, addressed the cancellation as the result of a “severe emergency”.