For Austin, the unthinkable has happened. SXSW has cancelled its 2020 edition, with the mayor declaring a “local disaster” in the city.
Austin’s economy relies on the annual film/music/tech/comedy gathering to fuel much of the rest of the year. The lack of a windfall to the city’s restaurants and bars could be fatal for many establishments, not to mention the many ancillary businesses like hotels, car rentals and more that get a boost from the influx of an estimated 100,000 attendees over the two weeks of the event.
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Some online reactions:
— SXSW (@sxsw) March 6, 2020
really hard to overstate the consequences of canceling SXSW on so many people’s ability to make a living and pay their rent. It’s the only real option the city had, but it is going to have a huge impact on a lot of people who need to pay their rent.
— dan solomon (@dansolomon) March 6, 2020
#SXSW brings in more than 300 million dollars to Austin, Texas. The fact the mayor cancelled it reflects both responsibility and the potentially severe virality of #CoronaVirus. Trump cut the CDC budget. He has Pence in charge. We don't have enough testing kits. Lord.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) March 6, 2020
I know it’s not gonna make up for the cancellation of SXSW overall, but it would be awesome if us Austin folks could make an extra special effort to patronize local resto + retail establishments and tip like hell this month.
— central standard grimes (@andreagrimes) March 6, 2020
Sxsw is one of my favorite festivals. Canceling it was the responsible thing to go. I know this sucks for many people for whom this was a massive opportunity. But we’re kind of in an unprecedented situation here and caution is key. Thank you for the making the right decision.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) March 6, 2020
the real losers of SXSW being canceled are the town's bartenders and service workers
— 💀 kill 💀 tim 💀 faust 💀 (@crulge) March 6, 2020
SXSW is such a vital part of the film culture. The number of films that count on it to jump start their lives, and the careers tied to those films…Jesus.
Not gonna lie, folks. I'm fucking shook.
— C. Robert Cargill (@Massawyrm) March 6, 2020
It’s hard to see how Coachella goes on if SXSW cancels. And if the summer festival season gets wiped out by Coronavirus this year, it’s hard not to think that’s the moment when the festival bubble finally bursts.
— Stephen Thomas Erlewine (@sterlewine) March 6, 2020
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