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Austin bar manager ends DJ set because of Latin music
The restaurant booked Latin music, but then criticized the ‘vibe.’
The female, latinx DJ collective Chulita Vinyl Club on Friday was asked to stop their set after management told them “this hotel does not play Latin music.” They haven’t gone quietly.
Their set was part of a soft opening for the bar of Austin, Texas, restaurant Caroline. The collective was booked to perform after Austin’s Afro-Colombian music group Superfónicos. According to a blog post they published on their website Sunday, during the last 10 minutes of their set Michael Childress, an assistant general manager of the bar, cut their music off and told them that they were “bringing the vibe down.”
The girls packed up their gear and then were approached by other members of management who apologetically tried to calm the situation. The interaction was posted on the Chulita Vinyl Club Instagram.
One of the DJs, Claudia Aparicio, told Austin 360 that the crowd changed from being mostly white in the beginning of the event, to including more people of color toward the end of the night before they were told to cut their music off.
“Their menu has tacos and drinks in Spanish and (they have) Acapulco chairs. They’re clearly trying to have the culture, but not wanting to accept the culture,” Aparicio said. “You got scared when you saw people of color dancing.”
The hotel responded to Austin 360 with a statement from General Manager David Meisner. “In preparing for the last couple hours of service at the restaurant, we wanted to switch the tempo of the music, so we asked them to end about 10 minutes early. The request was not about the genre of music but we did not communicate or handle the situation appropriately on our end,” Meisner wrote. “We apologize for offending Chulita Vinyl Club and the community and we deeply regret the way the situation was handled.”
Because of the incident, the collective wrote that they would not be accepting payment from the gig.
“CVC will not play or support spaces that naturalize aggression and acts of discrimination towards our culture or people,” the end of their blog post reads. “CVC firmly believes that playing Latinx music is part of our heritage and of visualizing cultural diversity in the country.”
H/T Austin 360
Sarah Jasmine Montgomery is a Daily Dot contributor whose writing and criticism cover all things pop culture, with an emphasis on how communities of color impact physical and digital cultural spaces. Her writing and photography have also appeared in Texas Monthly, the Fader, Complex, and Billboard.