The cancellation of the 2020 SXSW Festival and Conferences due to concerns of the health and safety of attendees due to the Coronavirus has left several artists without venues to perform or screen their films. Furthermore, SXSW hugely impacts all local businesses, venues and restaurants in Austin bringing in nearly $300 million into the city which will now be lost revenue. There are several ways to help artists, filmmakers and Austin businesses that we wanted to share with you all.
Stand with Austin
The Stand With Austin Fund is being endorsed by SXSW itself, as well as Mayor Steve Adler. The Austin Community Fund has created a unified place for people to donate to support the individuals and small businesses impacted by the cancellation of this year’s SXSW.
Artists and workers have incurred expenses to get to and stay in the “Live Music Capitol of the World” during the next few weeks. Some may have been reimbursed or refunded but many folks are out thousands of dollars. SXSW’s goal is to keep as many artists as possible coming to Austin. SXSW also wants to assist re-homing events that are losing their venues.
Southern Smoke has created an Austin-specific fund to help specifically those in the food and beverage industry. The Houston-based Southern Smoke Foundation (which helped assist the hospitality industry after Hurricane Harvey in 2017) will oversee the Austin hospitality portion.
Downtown entertainment district The Red River Cultural District (RRCD), event promotion companies Heard Presents and Margin Walker, and live music startup Prism.FM, put together a GoFundMe campaign to support artists and workers affected by the SXSW cancellation. It’s seeking $100,000 to help those looking to still perform during what would’ve been the ten-day festival, help the affected pay bills and rent, and to help offset SXSW-related expenses incurred in advance of the festival. The RRCD represents most of the music venues, bars, and restaurants along the downtown street, including Mohawk, Cheer Up Charlies, and Stubb’s. The organizers are also looking to put together showcases to make up for canceled SXSW concerts.
Stage32 is offering filmmakers whose films were scheduled to screen at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival to showcase their projects on Stage32. Stage 32 will give officially selected SXSW filmmakers the opportunity to screen and showcase their projects on the Stage 32 platform beginning in April. Stage 32 will provide access to the films to its global community of over 600,000 members, which includes distributors, buyers and sales agents, as well as hundreds of executives and educators who work with Stage 32 including managers, agents, financiers, development execs, and producers.
Filmmakers will have a choice whether to screen privately to distributors, buyers, sales agents and Stage 32’s executive roster or to screen publicly to everyone including Stage 32’s global member base. There is no fee to participate. Interested filmmakers can visit Stage 32’s screening registration portal at www.stage32.com/screenings. Filmmakers and/or producers can submit their request to screen their project up until March 23, 2020.
Advertising agency T3 put together their own GoFundMe campaign to support Austin’s service industry. It’s looking to raise $5,000 to make up for lost tips people employed by local restaurants, bars, venues, and hotels
If you know more companies starting initiatives or crowdfunding campaigns in lue of SXSW 2020 being canceled please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Austin natives, we have covered SXSW for the past seven years and had plans to cover all of SXSW LIVE for Hi-Tech Chic this year so as you can imagine we are equally sad the event will not go on.
More information from SXSW can be found here: https://www.sxsw.com/news/2020/stand-with-austin-join-us-in-support-of-local-businesses/.
Source: SXSW, Stage 32, T3, Go Fund Me, Stand With Austin, Banding Together ATX, Southern Smoke, Red River Cultural District