A variety of festivals, concerts and shows have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. The infamous SXSW festival is one of them. But what happens to the guests who booked travel and booked accommodations? While the stock market plummets, Airbnb seems to be causing their own set of problems, and is not refunding individuals.
It is clear the fallout of SXWS because of the coronavirus has been a huge blow. This is much to the Austin community, where the festival is held annually. Notably, local service workers, small businesses, and artists had lost over $1,130,547 in income. Furthermore, SXSW had laid off almost one third of its 157-person staff as of Monday.
However, SXSW was scheduled to start March 13th – 22nd. Austin Mayor Steve Adler said that if the festival continued to move forward, it would cause a local disaster. In fact, many advertisers were dropping out of the conference early on from concerns. Indeed this is the first time in 34 years that the conference will not take place.
Even though the event is cancelled, the event organizers are trying to figure out a way to reschedule the popular festival:
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…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.
Airbnb Lacking Customer Support in General
Even beyond the SXSW reservations many individuals are reporting issues with the service from Airbnb.
Continue to check in for more updates around the coronavirus.