SXSW Festival Canceled Amid Coronavirus Concerns

I love airplanes but in a close second place is my love of music. I enjoy all types of music and often associate aviation experiences with a music track that happened to be playing during that moment.

Although a bit off-topic, if planes did not exist, this blog would (probably) be a blog about music festivals.

SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST

If you’re not familiar with South by Southwest (SXSW), it’s a 10-day tech, film, conference, and music festival that began in 1987 and has continued to grow in both scope and size every year.

The festival takes place each year in Austin, Texas and was supposed to begin in one week (March 13-22, 2020), however, this year the popular festival has been canceled due to coronavirus.

MORE SERIOUS THAN THEY THOUGHT?

This is the first time in 34 years that the festival is being canceled.

Interestingly, just a couple of days ago, Austin Public Health stated “there’s no evidence that closing SXSW or any other gatherings will make the community safer.”

Today, however, Mayor Steve Adler announced a local disaster as a precaution because of the threat of coronavirus. As of now, no one in Austin has the virus (that we know of) but with SXSW attracting thousands of attendees, both, domestic and international, it could pose a serious threat.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

SXSW is the highest revenue-producing event outside of athletic and other events associated with The University fo Texas at Austin for the Austin economy, with an estimated economic impact of approximately $325 million last year.

For comparison, Super Bowl LI brought a $347 million economic impact to the Houston economy, and the Final Four brought a $324 million economic impact to the economy of Phoenix, Arizona.

In addition, demand for hotel rooms in the Austin area continued to outstrip supply, pushing average nightly room rates up to an all-time high of approximately $350 per night.

FINAL STAMP

It’s been interesting to see how much this virus is affected and reshaped activities, conferences, and industries around the world.

It’s unfortunate that the festival had to be canceled, but it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry and have an even bigger breakout here in the states.

I had no plans of attending the concert this year but I knew things weren’t looking good for the festival, particularly, when Netflix, Mashable, Tik Tok and Intel dropped out of the festival recently.

Was anyone planning on attending the festival? What is you take on attending events with a lot of attendees (concerts, festivals, athletic events, etc.)?

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