With ten years of amazing shows under their belt The Altercation Punk Rock BBQ has become a must attend event for any true punk fan during the annual South By South West music conference in Austin Texas. With so many of our favorite bands like: Two Fisted Law, Teenage Bottle Rocket, The Jukebox Romantics, Off With Their Heads, American Pinup, Lower Class Brats, Dead To Me, The Split Seconds, Dwarves, The Fantastic Plastics, and so many many more awesome acts over the years it would fill a full book just to name them all.
So why is Altercation calling it quits? Find out below.
Altercation records co-owner JT Habersaat had this to say on the decision:
“In a nutshell, we feel that the entire atmosphere around SXSW in Austin has completely jumped the shark. The events in March are what got me to move from New York to Texas almost fifteen years ago. It allowed me the opportunity to first meet people like Keith Morris and Joan Jett, and led to us shooting photos of Motorhead and Little Richard. It used to be so inspiring, and a true, legitimate place for new and exciting acts to get potential exposure to real industry people. Now? Everyone I know disregards downtown the entire week. It’s the complete opposite of fun and worthwhile. No one wants to be around it. Me included.”
Two Fisted Law.
“It’s sad to see something like SXSW basically become a distortion of what it started out as initially in my eyes,” Habersaat added. “When was the last time you actually heard about a punk or indie band getting some sort of breakout at SXSW? Travis (Myers, Altercation co-owner) and I kind of looked around after last year…which incidentally was the largest BBQ turnout we have ever had…and said ‘well, that was a whole lot of work to pull off, and everyone had a great time, but what did our bands get out of traveling all this way?’. And the sad truth is, not much.”
“Don’t get me wrong,” Habersaat continues. “the core Altercation fans are the best in the world, and they show up big time each and every year. We have always been a proudly un-official event. But a majority of the people that come to town in March are now more interested in trying to get into the Doritos EDM showcase at Stubb’s or whatever-the-fuck than checking out actual fresh punk and indie bands with something to say. I just don’t see any benefit to our bands being here in March. I would rather we go out on a high note than keep these events going for future years, when my distain for the climate around SXSW keeps growing. It’s not something I want to be a part of any more.”
The 2019 Altercation Punk Rock BBQ will be headlined by a pair of acts ‘too big to reveal’, which based on previous yearly lineups may prove quite exciting to longtime fans. Other confirmed performers at the event, which takes place at Kick Butt Cafe in Austin, TX on Saturday March 16th from noon-8pm, include Riverside Odds (Philadelphia), HEELS (Memphis), Sabbath Crow (Austin), Steadfast (Houston) and many more. The Altercation Hangover, slated for Sunday March 17th from 1-7pm in nearby Bryan, TX, will be held once more at the Revolution Bar, with performances from Almataha (Denver), Dr. Beardface and the Spaceman (Philadelphia), Despero (Austin) and more. Both events are free and all ages, with free food and other hospitality while it lasts.
However disappointing the death of the BBQ and Hangover may be to longtime Altercation fans, Habersaat, who also curates the 4-day Altercation Comedy Festival each September, offers a cryptic parting note of optimism.
“The lineup this year is fairly epic, and we really look forward to having everyone help send off these events in classic Altercation style,” he says. “Plus….this will now free us up to concentrate on some other Austin-specific ideas I have had sizzling on the back burner for a bit. Stay tuned.”
And we will.