Organizers have promptly laid off one-third, which is approximately 50 of 175 members of their staff, following the cancellation of the 2020 SXSW Festival, which was initially slated for March 13-22.
It was “the only way to stop the bleeding,” the organizers claimed.
CEO Roland Swenson, noting that they face losses in the tens of millions, “Due to the City of Austin’s unprecedented and unexpected cancellation of the SXSW 2020 events in March, SXSW has been rigorously reviewing our operations, and we are in the unimaginable position of reducing our workforce.”
They add,“Today we said goodbye to approximately one-third of our full-time staff. Those of us in the business of live events know the level of trust required to execute an event of SXSW’s scale, and we are deeply sad to let people go this soon. We are planning for the future and this was a necessary, but heartbreaking, step.”
Furthermore, the statement says, “We are planning to carry on and do another event in 2021, but how we’re going to do that I’m not entirely sure.”