^
Keep Westword Free
4

Denver Bands Were Looking Forward to Playing SXSW; Now It's Canceled

Dressy Bessy would have played SXSW in 2020.EXPAND
Dressy Bessy would have played SXSW in 2020.
Pistoli

For many indie artists, playing SXSW is a bucket-list item. Unfortunately, the handful of Denver bands that were scheduled to play the Texas fest just received bad news: The City of Austin has canceled the 2020 festival over concerns about the coronavirus.

This will be the first time since it was started 34 years ago that SXSW won't happen. And it's just the latest in a string of music events, including Ultra Music Festival in Miami, to announce that they're canceling in 2020 out of concern for public health.

"We are exploring options to reschedule the event and are working to provide a virtual SXSW online experience as soon as possible for 2020 participants, starting with SXSW EDU," the festival announced in a statement released March 6, as the city revealed its decision. "For our registrants, clients and participants, we will be in touch as soon as possible and will publish an FAQ."

The four Denver bands slated to play were The Yawpers, Dressy Bessy, Kyle Emerson and The Still Tide.

"This festival season is in for a rough ride," says Dressy Bessy's John Hill. "We're very disappointed because it takes considerable effort to organize SXSW, and we were doing other Texas shows through the ten days. We're now looking at rescheduling the Texas dates in June, but being so late now, that will also be a monumental effort."

Here's the statement from SXSW:

City of Austin Cancels SXSW March Events

The City of Austin has cancelled the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU. SXSW will faithfully follow the City’s directions.

We are devastated to share this news with you. “The show must go on” is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place. We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation.

As recently as Wednesday, Austin Public Health stated that “there’s no evidence that closing SXSW or any other gatherings will make the community safer.” However, this situation evolved rapidly, and we honor and respect the City of Austin’s decision. We are committed to do our part to help protect our staff, attendees, and fellow Austinites.

We are exploring options to reschedule the event and are working to provide a virtual SXSW online experience as soon as possible for 2020 participants, starting with SXSW EDU. For our registrants, clients, and participants we will be in touch as soon as possible and will publish an FAQ.

We understand the gravity of the situation for all the creatives who utilize SXSW to accelerate their careers; for the global businesses; and for Austin and the hundreds of small businesses – venues, theatres, vendors, production companies, service industry staff, and other partners that rely so heavily on the increased business that SXSW attracts.

We will continue to work hard to bring you the unique events you love. Though it’s true that our March 2020 event will no longer take place in the way that we intended, we continue to strive toward our purpose – helping creative people achieve their goals.

Nate Cook of the Yawpers had concerns about SXSW that went beyond the coronavirus.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

"I think I’m far more likely to drink myself to death down there," he wrote Westword shortly before the cancellation announcement. "That said, I’m not amped on the idea [of the festival happening] from a public health perspective."

And now, it's not. 

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.