SXSW cancels Roots show after bomb scare

Fans of The Roots were in line for the show when organizers decided to shut it down

Questlove of The Roots brought their legendary Jam Sessions to SXSW. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Bud Light)

With Austin, Texas already on high alert after a series of fatal serial bombings, police arrested a man for making terrorist threats that caused a highly anticipated Roots South by Southwest concert to be cancelled.

According to The Daily News, police arrested 26-year-old Trevor Ingram, after the SXSW event organizer, Live Nation, received a threatening email just hours before Philadelphia-based hip-hop group The Roots was set to hit the stage in front of thousands of concert-goers.

Austin police rushed the Fair Market venue after receiving word of the threat and the show’s sponsor, Bud Light cancelled the show– a half-hour ahead of its start time. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott office said “no threat was found,” but Ingram was identified as the source around 11:15 p.m. and now faces charges.

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The Roots’ drummer Questlove took to Twitter to alert fans about the serious situation.

The Philadelphia-based band’s drummer cautioned potential showgoers about the cancellation.

“Uh, welp can’t say much but for those in Austin waiting in line to see us tonight. Tonight’s show has been canceled,” he wrote. “They’ll make official announcement but I’d rather save ya’ll the trouble of waiting in line.”

Questlove later deleted his tweet.

Austin on High Alert

There’s been a string of deadly bombings in the last two weeks in popular Texas city and it’s unclear if they are random acts of terror or hate crimes targeted towards people of color. Regarding the SXSW threat, thus far local officials have said: “There are no indications of any broader security concern for any activities relating to this incident.

“We cannot rule out hate, but we’re not saying it’s hate,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said Thursday, according to CNN.

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“This moment cannot be something that divides us,” said Travis County Democratic Party Chairman Vincent Harding. “This cannot be a white issue or black issue or an east issue or west issue. This must be a human issue, this must an Austin issue for all of us.”

The Victims

Anthony Stephan House was regarded as a family man and loving father to an eight-year-old daughter before his life was tragically cut short by a package bomb on March 2.

House was a 39-year-old senior project manager for Texas Quarries. His death was initially investigated as suspicious but is now viewed as a homicide.

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Police identified Draylen Mason as the 17-year-old that was also killed in a second attack on March 12.

Draylen Mason is reportedly one of four victims so far in a string of attacks that involves bombs left outside of the homes of minority families.

According to The Daily Mail, Draylen Mason was an aspiring musician. His grandfather Norman Mason was a renowned dentist with strong community ties. Mason’s grandmother LaVonne Mason broke ground as the co-founder of the Austin chapter of the National Urban League.

The Violin Channel reports that Draylen Mason was an honor roll double bass student at the East Austin College Prep, where he studied with William Bill Dick. Mason was also a member of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Austin Youth Orchestra and the Austin Soundwaves.

Mason’s mother was reportedly also injured in the blast.

Later that same day, Esperanza Herrera, a 75-year-old Hispanic woman suffered potentially fatal injuries and was rushed to the hospital.

The Impact

Residents are suspicious of packages being delivered to their homes. CNN reports none of the cardboard packages was delivered by the US Postal Service or delivery services such as UPS or FedEx, police said. The packages were left in the overnight hours.

FBI teams are investigating along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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Manley said anyone receiving a package they don’t recognize should call 911. “Under no circumstances should you touch them, move them or handle them in any way,” he warns.