SXSW has been reeling in from the effects caused by its cancellation earlier this week, due to concerns regarding the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic. The fest stated that it laid-off one-third of its 175 employees as of yesterday, and that it is still determining how much money it stands to lose due to this even’t cancellation.
According to a statement released to the Austin based news outlet the Statesman, the festival “has been rigorously reviewing our operations, and we are in the unimaginable position of reducing our workforce. We are planning for the future and this was a necessary, but heartbreaking, step.”
The event’s cancellation was not covered by their insurance, according to its founders, meaning that the festival is liable for the losses incurred by not hosting the event. “We have a lot of insurance (terrorism, injury, property destruction, weather),” festival Co-Founder Roland Swenson explained. “However, bacterial infections, communicable diseases, viruses and pandemics are not covered.”
Despite this cancellation and the possible loss of “tens of millions” of dollars as a result of this fallout, the company is still planning on holding the event next year. Attendees can defer their registration for next year, 2022 or 2023 if they planned to attend the cancelled event this weekend.
The company’s employees are not the only ones who have been adversely affected by the event, as numerous local businesses artists, vendors, hospitality workers and freelancers have also been impacted by its cancellation. To combat these losses, several people have organized a fundraiser to provide financial relief for these workers and businesses.