SXSW 2020 cancelled: The biz reacts to Covid-19 shutdown

SXSW 2020 cancelled: The biz reacts to Covid-19 shutdown

Following the cancellation of SXSW 2020 over the weekend, the biz has been taking stock of what impact the lack of the conference will have for the year ahead.

The event, which was due to take place March 13-22, was pulled by the City Of Austin authorities on Friday (March 6) over fears that it might encourage the spread of the Covid-19 virus as international delegates arrived in the Texan capital.

Organisers said they would "faithfully follow the City’s directions" and while, "'The show must go on' is in our DNA, 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."

Soon after the announcement a website – – emerged aiming to raise revenue for artists and crew who will be left out of pocket by the decision via donations.

So far it has calculated that from verified submissions $1,130,547 of earnings has been lost. Meanwhile Austin's mayor Steve Adler encouraged residents to get out and support local businesses nothing that "without SXSW, some in our community could really feel the pinch."

Elsewhere reaction to the cancellation has been shared via social media by the biz.

British band Hotel Lux, who were due to play a series of showcases, said that they and many of their contemporaries were now hamstrung by the cancellation, but suggested staging an alternative event at home instead to make up the short fall.

AIM added it would create a directory of benefit events now taking place in the wake of the SXSW cancellation.

Others have encouraged fans to purchase records and merch to help affected acts.

However, with many acts routing tours around their SXSW appearances, some were worried about the wider knock-on effect for artists' tours that the cancellation may cause.

Yet, despite the cancellation of the official SXSW, with the event traditionally inspiring many fringe activities it is possible that the city of Austin will not be entirely music-free in the next few weeks, as some smaller events are planning to go ahead.

Music Week will bring you updates on the fallout SXSW 2020's cancellation and the impact of Covid-19 on the biz as the situation develops.

By Paul Stokes

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