Austin police arrest performer Tyler, the Creator at SXSW


Austin police arrested South By Southwest performer Tyler, the Creator and charged him with inciting a riot after a crowd broke down the gate surrounding the Scoot Inn to see his performance Thursday afternoon.

The rapper, whose real name is Tyler Gregory Okonma, headlined a “Death Match” co-sponsored by Converse and Thrasher Magazine at the Inn Thursday.

According to the police affidavit, Austin Police Deparment received a call from the Scoot Inn on Thursday afternoon to investigate possible overcrowding, after the establishment hit its capacity of 999 people. As the concert started, Okonma encouraged people waiting outside the gate to push past it, the affidavit said.

As soon as Okonma began encouraging the crowd to push into the venue, the long line waiting scattered forward, assailing the surrounding fence and entryway. He chanted “push” to the rhythm of the next song while the crowd outside tried bringing down the back fence.

The venue’s sound manager eventually cut off Okonma’s volume to help quell the crowd and venue employees threatened to shut down the show. The performance resumed after a short period, during which time the damages to the back fence were repaired and the crowd returned to normal.

Okonma was charged with a “riot” Class A misdemeanor and bond was set at $25,000. Travis County court officials originally placed the bond at $3,500, according to Okonma's arrest warrant. He was still at Travis County Central Booking late Saturday afternoon.

Okonma, who is 23, had been scheduled to perform at The Mohawk earlier Thursday morning, but the event was cancelled after a driver crashed outside the bar, resulting in two deaths and 23 injured people, including the driver. To read the latest updates on the crash, click here.

Update: This story has been updated from its original version to reflect Okonma's $25,000 bond. In the official warrant for Okonma's arrest, the bond was set at $3,500.

Additional reporting by Roy Cathey.