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 – www.ilostmygig.com – 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."
Without SXSW, some in our community could really feel the pinch. You can help. Go out to eat, drink & listen to live music. Support the artists, businesses, and working people who make Austin special. Want to do more? Contribute here: https://t.co/IWTo5ysWH1 #StandWithAustin pic.twitter.com/kGlMWH3HBb— Mayor Adler (@MayorAdler) March 7, 2020
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.
Theres thousands of bands in our position right now #sxsw shall we do a london sxsw show/ day fest to make up for it— Hotel Lux (@hotelluxband) March 6, 2020
AIM added it would create a directory of benefit events now taking place in the wake of the SXSW cancellation.
If you're putting on an event in response to the #SXSW cancellation, in place of a showcase no longer happening in Austin or to raise £ for those losing out, let us know! @AIM_UK are creatin a directory to make sure everyone knows about it. ???? sophie [at] aim [dot] org [dot] uk.x pic.twitter.com/d8ZGWs3BPZ— Jude McArdle (@JudeAbides) March 9, 2020
Others have encouraged fans to purchase records and merch to help affected acts.
Personally gutted about SXSW cancellation but more upset for all the artists who have paid for visas, van hire etc and for the folks who now have venues sitting empty. Buy some Merch or some music today huh?— Emily Scoggins (@emilyrocks) March 7, 2020
Just want to say that the best way to help artists who are unable to perform at SXSW is to buy their records and merch, please do that— Max Bloom (@Yuckband) March 8, 2020
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.
In our streaming era, most musicians rely on playing concerts to get by. Artists schedule tours around #sxsw, so its cancellation, while perhaps necessary, is chilling. What else will be cancelled?— Zoe Keating (@zoecello) March 7, 2020
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.
What unofficial SXSW shows are still going on because I’m hearing the unofficial sxsw is now sxsw— diana schweinbeck (@schweinbeck) March 7, 2020
A Statement from Catholic Action regarding our plans to appear in Austin, Texas next week followed the cancellation of SXSW. pic.twitter.com/aVfQ99rhrX— Catholic Action (@_CatholicAction) March 7, 2020
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