Music News

Rise Against Ends Boycott of Arizona; Sound Strike Changes Focus

We're not going to come out and say that the Sound Strike -- the commercial boycott of Arizona by a group of bands, musicians, and artists launched in May, 2010 -- is over, but we're not not saying that the Sound Strike is over.

Chicago punk band Rise Against, one of the Sound Strike's marquee names, has announced two dates in Arizona: September 27 at the Orpheum in Flagstaff, and September 28 at Tempe Beach Park. The band writes on its site:

"Boycotts are an age-old expression of protest; a tool that has shaped our country in the past and will continue to shape it in the future. Boycotts are responsible for some of America's proudest moments; from the American Revolution to the civil rights movement. When Arizona passed an anti-immigration law called SB 1070, many of us saw this as a dark day in American history . . . Our band and other artists worldwide proudly joined The Sound Strike, an artists boycott of Arizona. Many of you understood the gravity of this decision and stood with us. Others were split, citing the fact that the citizens of AZ had nothing to do with SB 1070, so it was unfair to punish them. Some believed the solution was to engage Arizona by coming and playing rather than avoiding the state altogether. We took this all into consideration and truly value your insight as always. But we followed our gut, and believed that we could not carry on business-as-usual when so much is at stake. We took a stand, not to punish our fans, but as an expression of protest that harkens back to the days of Rosa Parks and the civil rights era."

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.