Concerns about coronavirus COVID-19 has expanded to more gatherings.
The South by South West (SXSW) festival and conference is an annual event in Austin Texas. The festival that brings together film, music, and interactive media has been cancelled for the first time in 34 years.
Until very recently, Health Department officials from Austin believed the closing of the event or other gatherings would not significantly increase public safety. It seems however as more cities report cases, the concern of a rapidly evolving situation convinced the Austin officials to reconsider.
The organizers reported on their social media, “We are committed to do our part to help protect our staff, attendees, and fellow Austinites…We understand the gravity of the situation for all the creatives who utilize SXSW to accelerate their careers; for the global businesses; and for Austin and the hundreds of small businesses – venues, theatres, vendors, production companies, service industry staff, and other partners that rely so heavily on the increased business that SXSW attracts.”
While this is a major setback for attendees and participants, there are also the economic implications for the people of Austin. SXSW generates over 300 million into the Austin economy. Events of this size and logistics are not simply rescheduled.
Let’s all have positive energy for our music loving family in Austin and that this does not extend deep into other Spring and Summer festivals, gatherings, or burns.