Posts Tagged ‘SXSW 2020’

sxsw-2020-cancelled-coronavirus-south-by-southwest-cancel“Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.” ~ Anonymous

In the first time of its 34 year history, SXSW Festival is cancelled due to concerns about COVID-19.

The news came today from Mayor Steve Adler.

When asked about the ramifications of this historic decision, Adler said that “the ramifications are secondary to ensure we are safe as a community.”

In recent days, there was a petition signed by thousands of people who wanted the city of Austin to cancel it to begin with. However the following day the local newspaper would report that the city of Austin would press forward with plans of keeping SXSW active.

Looks like they bowed to the will of the public hysteria and changed their minds.

Yet I cannot help but wonder if the city of Austin is actually thinking about the long term ramifications that are going to come because of this decision.

Hotels get booked a year in advance for this event. The moment it ends one year, is when they start booking rooms for the following year. You cannot find a hotel anywhere to stay in throughout the city of Austin. It just does not happen!

Another thing that I have thought about are the local venues who were expecting a rise in sales and business.

I have read on social media that the UN-official SXSW events, some are going on as planned. But again, sales will probably not be as they were if the OFFICIAL SXSW event was going on as they are.

I’ve been told that the city of Austin has really done a number on many venues and businesses that are located in the downtown area.

For one example, a venue along infamous Sixth Street recently has been hit with a drastic rent increase. One that I have discussed in past blog posts as I have attended live music shows there.

When rent goes from $10,000 a month up to $25,000 a month, how does the city expect any business to thrive??

The cancellation of SXSW 2020 will definitely be felt by those businesses and venues who are experiencing these ridiculous rent increases.

Downtown Austin in the long run will be going through some changes.

Local people are pretty upset right now. And rightfully so. And if some how the city of Austin pushes against the UN-official events, then I suspect that all hell will break loose.

But I have to personally take a step back from all of this. 

All year long, I have been waiting for certain local bands to post their SXSW events. Whether official or unofficial. And nobody that I know of said anything. Not a word!!

So therefore, I am not planning on attending ANY events at all. Even before this cancellation was announced. In addition to that, I’m still healing from several surgeries that I went through last November. And I would not be in very good shape to attend to begin with.

So what’s the good in all of this?

I had to stop and think really hard to answer that question.

First and foremost, the traffic. I am sure that traffic will be bad enough during that time. And I am sure that people who had planned to come will be defiant and come any way. But the traffic will be far less than usual.

I wondered about the parking. Commonly on any given weekend (or any given night for that matter) parking can be anywhere from $20-30. But during SXSW Festival, parking goes $40-50 and way up!! Will the city of Austin keep things as usual or will they still continue to bleed people dry?

I personally have not heard of any cases of COVID-19 in the city of Austin. So as it stands right now, the hysteria continues to win over the minds of people. I believe that most people are smart and know how to take care of themselves and not get sick. Just like during the flu season.

There will come a day when these “secondary ramifications” will eventually down the road become “primary” and the city of Austin will be in a giant world of hurt.