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SXSW caught in immigration debate after artist rips contract

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/3/2017 By PAUL J. WEBER, Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A New York musician says he won't perform at the SXSW Music Festival over a contract provision stating that U.S. immigration agents may be contacted if an international act violates the performance agreement.

SXSW organizers responded Thursday by saying that Felix Walworth, who goes by the stage name Told Slant, had misunderstood their policies. They say no artist in the festival's 30-plus-year history had been reported to immigration agents.

SXSW co-founder Roland Swenson says the contract clause was merely a safeguard in case an artist does "something truly egregious." But he acknowledged the language "seems strong" given the current political climate.

The music festival in Austin, Texas, begins March 13.

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