Organizers for "Banding Together" say show must still go on after SXSW is canceled

Organizers for an "unofficial SXSW" say the show still must go on after SXSW was canceled Friday due to concerns about the coronavirus.

Those in the Red River District are "banding together" to make sure those who have been impacted by the cancelation of SXSW still have a place to go.

"What we are doing is primarily trying to rehome and keep as many shows keep coming to Austin," said district founding member Stephen Sternschein.

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Over 75 different organizations and over 20 venues are participating in this initiative. One is the Empire Control Room and Garage. Sternschein said that while SXSW may be canceled, it's important that the community still comes together.

"At the end of the day there is a really strong need to not be paralyzed by the terrible things," Sternschein said. "The best way for us to deal with that is to operate as usual."

Operating as usual means booking artists and keeping the music scene alive.

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"All of these artists are coming here to create opportunity for themselves," Sternschein said. "I think that our goal is for people to understand that we are here to keep the music playing."

Along with working with those he knows in the music scene, a GoFundMe has also been started and in just a few days, almost $13,000 has been raised.

"The more money we can collect, the more opportunity we can help people," Sternschein said.

RELATED: SXSW canceled for 2020 due to coronavirus

It's not just artists that they want to help, but service and hospitality workers too, everyone typically involved.

"We are trying to make sure we are ready and the damage is as little as possible," Sternschein said.

Sternschein also said that with SXSW canceled, it may give more opportunity and chances for those up-and-coming artists to break into the music scene without all the competition the event usually brings in.


He also added that he and his team are working to make sure they are monitoring the safety situation and taking all the necessary precautions they can.