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Betsy's Bar Comments on SXSW Cancellation of Motorbreath Entertainment Show

Photo of Havok

Band Photo: Havok (?)

Metal Underground previously reported the cancellation of Motorbreath's SXSW show featuring artists such as Havok, Bonded By Blood and Spellcaster. We contacted Motorbreath owner and show booker, Tristan Spears to get his side of the story. Now, in all fairness, we bring our readers the other side of the story told by a representative of Betsy's Bar.

Jeff James was not at the bar during the debacle, but took part in the decision to close down the show. James explains:

"Number one, our GM who booked the show was not suppose to be dealing with Tristan [Spears] anymore because we had a terrible experience working with him on New Year’s Eve of this past year. Number two, the promoter who had been promoting all the events for the last six weeks, up until SXSW, didn’t have any knowledge of this show. They kind of showed up and myself was out of town. They called me and I told them to try to work it out. Do what you can. I don’t want to put anybody out, make it so they can’t do their show."

James affirms Spear's assumption that Betsy's Bar did not want an extreme metal show.

"To make a long story short, Tristan had told Pauly there wasn’t going to be any hard, kind of Slayer rock-n-roll. I wasn’t there. I can’t say if it was or it wasn’t. I was told that it was. It’s just not a fit for our venue, so to make a long story short: I think it was a big miscommunication. Like I said, I wasn’t here, but my promoter tried to work it out, but they just couldn’t work it out. It wasn’t something malicious. I hate that it happened. Everybody has their story, but that is my account of the story," James clarifies.

"Richard is the other promotions guy," explains James, "who didn’t have any contact with Tristan, whatsoever, so when they showed up, it was like, ‘Hey, we didn’t even know that you guys have this slot.’ Richard moved some of his shows from Betsy’s up to the front bar to try to accommodate them and Betsy’s. It probably would have been better if we had done the opposite—put them up front and let the other bands play back in Betsy’s. It just didn’t work out that way."

James also gave his side of the story regarding the cover charge and lack of alcohol consumption.

"We try not to charge a cover during SX because, from our perspective, if somebody is charged fifteen dollars at the door, that patron, in my mind, is going to drink less alcohol. The time frame that they were at the bar, that promo, I don’t know how much money they made at the door, but he was charging fifteen dollars at the door and nobody was drinking. It gets kind of counterproductive to us. We have 150 people in the bar who are only ordering Red Bull. It was a managerial decision where you have to say, ‘Look, this is not working out.’ We apologize, also, I know it’s a bad situation."

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