Fucked Up SXSW Bridge Party a Riot?

Fucked Up SXSW Bridge Party a Riot?
Photo: Aubrey Edwards
So, when is a guerilla-style impromptu show on a bridge really a riot? When NME.com tells you so? The British music media hype-machine reported that a riot occurred early Saturday morning on Lemar Pedestrian Bridge at an unauthorised performance by Toronto hardcore heroes Fucked Up and California's No Age during the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.

Apparently, at around 4:00 a.m., Fucked Up were unleashing their fury for about 1,000 die-hard partiers and fans still in the mood to rock after a night of SXSW gigs. Fucked Up enthusiasts answered the call of the mosh pit (what the hell else would you do during a Fucked Up show?), which reportedly grew to 30-people wide, who, along with the combined weight of the crowd caused the bridge to buckle and bounce. This allegedly inspired paranoid attendees to dive into the river for fear the bridge would collapse.

Police showed up, but "realised that they were powerless to halt the riot." NME.com used the following quote from Fucked Up guitarist Mike Haliechuck as explanation for the bridge jumping and justification for labeling the event a riot.

"I could feel the bridge going up and down - it was crazy. The police couldn't do anything, so they just had to wait," Haliechuck is said to have told the mag.

The Daily Swarm noticed a distinct lack of reporting on the 'riot' from all local newspapers and television stations, causing the music news site to question the validity of NME.com's information. A Daily Swarm reader was at the event and had this to say about the alleged riot:

"If by riot you mean 1000 kids having a show on a bridge. They do this every year but it was big this year - No Age and Fucked Up - a free show from 2AM - 5AM. Cops came but didn't bust it. Nothing newsworthy happened except that the best SXSW shows weren't just corporate sponsored unofficial shows but renegade shows too. Maybe someone jumped in the water - typical UK press exaggeration."

NME.com is prone to blowing bits of information out of proportion, so Exclaim! has sent an email to the Fucked Up team to get some clarification on the party or riot debate. Stay tuned for an update, and in the meantime, thanks to YouTube, here's a video of Fucked Up performing on Lemar Pedestrian Bridge in Austin.