SXSW band without gear after van burglarized

AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the 10 days of South By Southwest, bands from around the world make Austin their home. But now, a Nashville band is asking for help after all their gear was stolen. The band’s van was broken into while parked behind an East Austin music venue. All gear, as well as personal items and clothing, were stolen.

“We had just seen our buddies Sol Cat, and we were heading back to the van. When we got to the street, the van wasn’t there,” said bass player Gant O’Brien. “Started looking around, ‘Maybe it’s been towed,’ then saw the busted glass all over the ground.”

The van was burglarized on Eighth and Chalmers streets in East Austin. Austin police say the total estimated loss was about $12,000. The band, The Jag, has had to borrow gear from other artists for their shows. They say the most difficult part is losing equipment they have had for 10 years.

“When you play an instrument almost your entire life, you get to really know it well,” said O’Brien.

“The only reason we miss these objects is because of the memories we’ve built with them,” said singer Aaron Tyler King.

Left with just the clothes on their back, the band set up a GoFundMe page. They have also provided serial numbers on all items, in case the suspect tries to sell the instruments.

“It’s been really heartwarming to see how everyone’s pitched in for us. Our post got shared 40 times in an hour,” said O’Brien. “A lot of people from Austin reaching out saying, ‘Sorry this happened here; we want you to come back.'”

Band members say the good in Austin has outweighed the bad and that they’ll likely be back for SXSW in 2016.

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