Fun facts you may be surprised to learn about SxSW 2011:
1) There were bands who played that are not named Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, or any acronym or variant therein.
2) Some of those bands also had shady stuff happen during their sets.
The SxSW “incident” getting the (second) most attention in the blogosphere centers on Ben Weasel, lead singer of punk-pop notables Screeching Weasel, who allegedly — if things can still qualify as “alleged” when you can see them unfold before your very own eyes by watching them on video, right here — punched not one, but TWO women at the band’s Friday night show at the Scoot Inn & Bier Garten. The story goes that a woman near the front threw an ice cube at Weasel, who responded totally appropriately by then punching her in the face, because it is completely rare and unexpected for things to be thrown at punk shows. Later, a woman from the venue attempts to break up the altercation, only to have Weasel then being punching her, too. Security ultimately intervened and dragged Weasel away.
Digital Music News also reports that four concertgoers at the OMD show were injured after camera equipment fell on them, and that several Strokes show attendees were hurt after attempting to climb a fence surrounding the venue. Tough festival.
Weasel, by the way, ultimately issued this lengthy apology — which neglects to mention the sex of the those he punched — via his website yesterday:
I want to apologize to both the club owner and audience member involved for my actions during our show at SXSW on Friday night. While their actions were outside of my control, my regretful reaction is wholly my responsibility. Whatever my feelings are about fans crossing the line like that, I wish I could have that moment back and deal with it in the same spirit as I did the preceding 60 minutes. Since I can’t, an apology is all I’ve got and I sincerely hope those people will accept it. Up front, I wish to say that I am sorry to the fan and any others who were involved. As a husband, father, and a musician on the public stage, I understand that it is my duty to always take responsibility for my actions in a socially acceptable way, and most especially in the face of confrontation.
I want to apologize to the San Antonio fans, also, for having to cancel that show. I hope we can make it up down the road. I’ve obviously already talked to my band about it but I also want to publicly apologize for putting them in a bad position, as well as my manager, booking agent, label, and the support bands. My actions were unprofessional and unfair to the people I work with.