Yes, you read that headline correctly: SXSW CANCELED. What started out as a few schedule changes quickly changed to a full-on cancellation of SXSW this year. There had been rumors that this may happen due to the fear of coronavirus, but SXSW released an official statement last Sunday that “the show would go on.” Sadly, on Friday the tune had changed quickly. The City of Austin requested that SXSW be canceled due to the health and safety of Austin residents. This will be the first time in the 34 year history that the festival has not been held.
As previously mentioned, there had been murmurs of concerns about coronavirus and canceling the festival. There had been multiple petitions of circulating with requests to cancel the festival due to the number of people traveling to Austin from abroad. What really got the dominos falling was the first of the major companies that began to pull out from festival participation such as:
It is no secret that Austin and many of its businesses, venues, and musicians will be taking a huge hit. The financial repercussions will be astronomical, somewhere in the $200 million range. Not to mention, hotels, ad agencies, radio stations, restaurants, etc. The long-lasting effects of this decision will most likely echo through-out the rest of 2020.
Mayor Adler and SXSW have both released statements encouraging locals to get out and support local businesses, musicians, etc. during the SXSW time frame. While many out of towners flock to the fair City of Austin, many locals get out of dodge during SXSW. It’s the local governments hope that we can still get out and do our part to enjoy the local scene and keep our economy going. In fact, some even think this may be a great way to get the festival back to its roots to local music rather than the major corporations, etc.