Roland Swenson, the managing director of SXSW, along with Jason Carter, owner of a company called Wicked Signs, claimed responsibility Friday for changing the street sign for Bowie St. to read "David Bowie St." early Wednesday morning.
According to attorneys Perry Minton and Rick Flores, retained by Swenson and Carter, the pair was simply "paying tribute to a great musician" and that there was "never any intent to vandalize anything or waste any of the city's resources."
Swenson had the idea for the sign, the attorneys say, and contacted sign maker Carter, who then created the sticker that was placed over the real sign. The sticker can be peeled off with no damage to the street sign, located at 5th Street and Bowie Street.
On Tuesday, KEYE TV received an email from SXSW with the GIF below attached of what appeared to be the sign swapping in action, though the festival nor anyone associated with it claimed responsibility at the time:
Swenson released the following statement through his lawyers:
After [Bowie] passed away this week, I thought to myself 'We'll never have Bowie at SXSW, but we can still have David Bowie St.'
The city said Wednesday they will leave the sign up until Tuesday, January 19, so the community can enjoy the makeshift memorial for several days.