The Roots Jam at South By Southwest canceled due to bomb threat

The Roots Jam is always one of the biggest and most anticipated concerts of Austin, Texas’s South By Southwest festival, but on Saturday night this year’s all-star event was abruptly canceled due to a bomb threat.

The Roots’ drummer and co-bandleader, Questlove, announced the cancelation around 8:30 p.m. — as thousands of fans queued outside the Fair Market venue in Austin’s East Side neighborhood — citing a “severe emergency.” He tweeted, “Uh, welp can’t say much but for those in Austin waiting in line to see us tonight. Tonight’s show has been canceled. They’ll make official announcement but I’d rather save y’all the trouble of waiting in line.” Questlove also posted an Instagram story with the caption, “Welp. It’s 2018. Show canceled. These are the times we now live in.” Both social media posts were later deleted.

Later in the evening, the Austin Police Department released an official statement confirming it had been contacted Saturday afternoon by a Live Nation representative who had received a bomb threat via email. Police checked the venue and area and found nothing suspicious, but Bud Light, the sponsor of the Roots Jam, decided to shut down the event as a precaution. The APD later identified 26-year-old Trevor Weldon Ingram as the suspect tied to the email; Ingram was arrested Saturday night on charges of Terroristic Threat, 3rd Degree Felony, an offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The APD’s full statement is below.

The APD noted there were “no indications of any broader security concern for any activities relating to this incident,” so the Fair Market scare does not appear to be connected to the residential package bombings that occurred in Austin earlier in the month; those explosions killed two people and seriously injured a third.

Bud Light released the following statement Saturday: “Due to a security concern, we have made the difficult decision to cancel tonight’s Bud Light x The Roots SXSW Jam. After working proactively with SXSW, the Austin Police Department, and other authorities, Bud Light believes this is the best course of action to ensure the safety of our guests, staff, and artists, and appreciate your understanding. We are truly sorry to have to cancel the event, but we felt it was necessary to take all safety precautions.”

This year’s Roots Jam was set to feature Ludacris, DMC of Run-DMC, Rapsody, SWV, Nathaniel Rateliff, Moon Taxi, Tank and the Bangas, and many more.

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