Thousands of people flock to Austin annually to attend the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival. This normally results in an economic boost for local businesses. Yet now that this year's SXSW has been canceled due to concerns of the coronavirus, several establishments have put together fundraisers to help ease the financial burden.
On Saturday, SXSW created a video to explain their Stand with Austin campaign. According to the SXSW website, the Austin Community Fund has created a "unified place" for individuals to donate to local businesses and artists who have been impacted by this year's cancellation.
Along with the Austin Community Fund, several other organizations have put together fundraisers for Austin. Banding Together ATX is looking to assist in "re-homing" events that have had to move due to the cancelation as well as helping small business owners recoup on the accommodations they made to support the influx of tourists. Also, Southern Smoke has created an "Austin-specific" that will go directly to the local food and beverage industry.
For the first time since the festival's inception in 1987, SXSW decided to cancel the event. This was sparked by growing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. Artists from all over the world come to Austin for SXSW.
"The City of Austin has canceled the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU. SXSW will faithfully follow the City’s directions. We are devastated to share this news with you. The show must go on' is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place. We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation," an official statement regarding the cancellation reads.
SXSW officials went on to say that they are looking into rescheduling the event.