Austin mayor cancels SXSW, city says goodbye to $350 million

SXSW, Austin's annual festival for music, tech, business, art, and culture was canceled by the mayor because of the spreading coronavirus.  By the festival producers' own calculation, SXSW pumped $350 million into Austin it 2018, $356 million in 2019.

The Austin American Statesman has more:

The cancellation — just seven days before the 2020 festival was scheduled to start next Friday — comes as SXSW organizers faced public pressure to scrap it, as well the prospect of a substantially diminished event anyway because a lengthy list of companies and speakers already dropped out.

The cancellation constitutes a financial hit to downtown restaurants, bars, hotels and other businesses, many of which have come to count on free-spending attendees of the sprawling yearly conference.

It also could be a big blow for SXSW itself, a private company that has held the event since 1987, depending on its insurance coverage and how it opts to handle possible requests for refunds.