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Austin Rallies To Support Local Businesses & Workers In Wake Of SXSW Cancellation
News of SXSW being cancelled due global health crisis shook the music, tech and entertainment industries last week. Now, Austin's local businesses and officials are encouraging locals and supporters everywhere to pitch in to help those impacted by the cancellation.
A fundraising project called Banding Together ATX, spearheaded by The Red River Cultural District, which represents such local music venues as Cheer Up Charlies, Barracuda, Beerland, Empire, Elysium, Mohawk, Scratchhouse, Stubb's, Swan Dive and The Venue ATX, aims to raise awareness and support for the "thousands of artists, hospitality and production workers, businesses and organizations that rely on that event to survive."
Banding Together ATX has a growing supporter list of Austin-based businesses and individuals, including promoters Heard Presents, Margin Walker, Austin-based software startup Prism.FM, all committed to sustaining the "Live Music Capitol Of The World" through this hardship.
"Our goal is to keep as many artists as possible coming to Austin. We also want to assist re-homing events that are losing their venues," the fundraising site states. "If your organization had to cancel an event due to health/travel/public relation concerns consider this your opportunity to still make something cool happen in Austin and want to help. We know you still believe in supporting the community in Austin and want to help. Know that this good will charitable donation goes towards the thousands of people here, performing, working, and trying to survive; as well as your corporate karma."
City officials have also made moves to provide aid. With "Stand With Austin," the Austin Community Fund establishes a centralized donation and resource center to support According to the foundation's site, "This fund was created to receive charitable donations to support nonprofits assisting individuals and small businesses most negatively impacted by the cancellation of SXSW and least able to recover on their own."
These efforts to help everyone affected by the cancellation are a testiment to how Austin's music industry is so intimately intertwined with its service industry. With that in mind, Southern Smoke has created an Austin-specific fund specifically to provide assistance those in the food and beverage industry.
Originally scheduled to take place March 13-22, SXSW has been estimated by city officials to have had a $356 million economic impact on the city of Austin in 2019.