SXSW events Cancelled Over Coronavirus Affects
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
fears over the spread of COVID-19 caused to have large events, large masses to be moved, or canceled. The popular South by Southwest festival in Austin is one of these events. Over 100,000 people from all over the world were expected in the next week. But last night, Austin mayor Steve Adler declared a local disaster in the city, and granted to cancel the order, the festival, for the first time in 34 years, was canceled. Mayor Adler joins us. Thank you that you are with us.
STEVE ADLER: Well, with you.
SIMON: How much is the cost-Austin?
ADLER: you know, the economic benefit for the city – a little more than $350 million. This is going to hurt.
SIMON: Has anyone try to convince someone that they speak otherwise?
ADLER: Not really. I was really encouraged by the – in principle, the unanimity in the community that really focus on safety. And also the organizers of the South by Southwest Festival closes.
SIMON: Well, the health officials, I gather, have said there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Austin. And health officials are also quoted as saying: “there is no proof that the closure of South by Southwest, or other events to make the community safer.” But what factored in your decision, if that is the case?
ADLER: Well, that is what the health, we have no cases in Austin. But for sure, the longer we stay, the better we are. It is inevitable that it will come here, like all the other cities. But the delay is better. The balance – if you take into account all the factors, would be a crash that will make the city safer and the possibilities of canceling, make the city less safe, the balance on Tuesday, as they reported that it would not make canceling to make the city safer. But the changed conditions in the last two or three days had to change our health experts, and revise their advice. And your recommendation yesterday was to cancel the event, because it would make to make the city safer. They were looking at the enhanced human-to-human spread of the disease, was happening in the cities, both of which were closer to cities, sending many people to the festival.
SIMON: You’re a man of the arts, Lord mayor, and the mayor of a town famous for its art and music. This is a setback for many singers, songwriters. Rod Lurie’s film “The Outpost” was set to premiere. That must be hard.
ADLER: Very sturdy and really heartbreaking. You know, the actual impact is cumulative, as you have indicated, but the individual stories are heart-wrenching. We’re going to have to mitigate that as we can be, at best, as a community, as resilient as we can. You know, there are efforts from now on, as the South stand, to try to mitigate these things. I’m trying to encourage you to go all out in the city a few times next week for dinner and visit some of the clubs and – but this will still hurt. We just ultimately had no choice to do because of the focus required, what was needed to best keep the city safe.
SIMON: mayor Steve Adler in Austin, Texas. Thank you that you are with us, Mr. mayor.
the EAGLE: Thank you.
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Released on Sat, 07 Mar 2020 15:20:00 +0000