Image via Twitter

Image via Twitter

UPDATE (January 17): Roland Swenson, the managing director of SXSW, has taken credit for the sign change. He has started a petition to make the change permanent.

Bowie Street is located right across from the SXSW office in Austin Texas. It was named for James Bowie, a folk hero who participated in the Texas Revolution and died in the Battle of the Alamo. The street sign normally looks like this:

Image via Google Maps

Image via Google Maps


As it stands today, the sign reads “David Bowie St.”

According to Austin 360, nobody has taken credit for the alteration, which could lead to misdemeanor charges. It wasn’t SXSW. “It’s just a coincidence it’s across the street from our office at 400 (David) Bowie St.,” SXSW founder Roland Swenson says.

Austin city officials assure that the sign is not an officially sanctioned tribute to David Bowie, who passed away this month, but they’ve decided to let it stay, for now. In a statement, they explain:


The Austin Transportation Department has been notified that someone got creative with the street sign at Bowie and 5th Streets, changing the sign to read ‘David Bowie’ in memory of the musician and pop-culture icon. We appreciate Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World and recognize David Bowie for all he did for the music industry and more. To this end, we will leave the sign up until Tuesday, January 19, so our community can enjoy the makeshift memorial a few days longer. At that time we will have to replace it with the real street name sign.

R.I.P. David Bowie