SXSW is not only a cultural celebration of new technologies in the interactive space, and new talent in the film and music spaces, it also brings over 100,000 attendees to the city of Austin. And in 2019 alone, the economic impact on the local economy totalled $355.9 million. The cancellation of SXSW in 2020 was a hard hit to small, local businesses in Austin, who largely depend on the yearly revenue from tourists visiting the city for the 10-day event. The economic devastation to Austin locals in 2020 did not end there. As Covid continued to spread and shut down businesses around the country, over 50 beloved, staple Austin businesses were forced to permanently close due - many of them music companies and venues
. As someone who lived in Austin for several years and was deeply involved in the local live music scene, I was deeply saddened by these losses.
2021 has seen little relief to the hardships brought down on the Live Music Capital of the World. The weekend of Valentine’s Day, Texas saw one of the worst Winter storms in modern history. With the onslaught of freezing temperatures and seemingly endless snow, brought even more tragedy to Austin. With power grids down for days, frozen water pipes, and food shortages at grocery stores, many Austinites were left cold without food, water, and power for days. And even though the snow has cleared, and the city has warmed up to higher temperatures, many Austinites and Austin businesses are still devastated from the storm.
Every year, BUTTER has made a point to visit Austin to attend SXSW to keep up on what’s new and cool in the industry, and because this year the event is online, we thought we’d instead spend money that would have otherwise gone to our yearly trip to Austin, and give back to the city that has given so much to us and the Music industry for over 30 years.
We have sent a donation to Austin Mutual Aid, and are hoping to encourage our friends and partners in the industry to do the same. Austin Mutual Aid was founded the first week of the pandemic, in March of 2020, in order to connect resources with those in need, helping facilitate neighbours helping neighbours. During the winter storm, Austin Mutual Aid helped over 500 unhoused people move into shelters amongst their other efforts during and after the storm. Click the following link to learn more about Austin Mutual Aid, and to donate to their cause: https://www.gofundme.com/f/kick-the-cold-austin-mutal-aid
Check out the playlist below.