AUSTIN, Texas — Tragedy struck in Austin last night after a SXSW executive discharged a high-powered T-shirt cannon at an unarmed bassist.
Lawyers for the executive claimed he simply exercised his right to defend the convention’s controversial contract clause. The clause prevents artists from playing unofficial shows within a certain distance from any official SXSW showcase.
“Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck,” the executive stammered after firing, according to dashboard cam footage. He then turned to his CFO and shouted, “He had an unofficial show flyer in his hand. You saw it, right? You saw him reach for it?”
SXSW officials declined to comment, saying only that they would review their training procedures and that the executive has been put on administrative leave.
“The guy was shaking the second he rolled up on me. Obviously nervous, like he doesn’t see many artists around here,” said Tyler Hammond, the recovering bassist. “He shouted, ‘Let me see your schedule!’ a few times really quick. I reached to show it to him on my phone, and — bang! He fires a piece of swag right into my fucking chest.”
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While Hammond does worry the memory will “scar him for life,” and social media was set ablaze with outrage as the incident went public, he says he’s ready to move on and focus on his art.
“If they could maybe pay us properly for playing inside an inflatable GEICO lizard, I’d let the whole thing slide,” Hammond said. “But he didn’t even let me keep the shirt. He picked it up real quick, and claimed my wristband that lets me ‘watch techies talk about virtual-reality titty fucking was payment enough.’ He threatened me, too — said if I make a scene in front of all the industry here, he’d ‘squash me like the little hippie cockroach’ I am.”
“I mean, fair enough, dude,” he added. “But at least let me keep the shirt, right?”
The incident has reinvigorated the call to reexamine the contract clause, as well as the contract negotiation skills of all executives on patrol at SXSW.
Photo by Colin Ybarra and Shelby Kettrick @ShelbyShootsStuff.