Austin City Limits Festival 2020 Cancelled: Will Tourism Rebound?
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Austin City Limits Festival 2020 Cancelled: Will Tourism Rebound?

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Texas, the Austin City Limits Festival for 2020 has been canceled. In a statement issued on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, organizers of the long-time event have said this move was “the only responsible solution.”

With the Lone Star State reporting yet another daily high of 7K new pandemic cases on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, and Governor Greg Abbott urging everyone to stay home, the Austin City Limits Festival planners determined that for reasons of health and safety, they must forego this year’s event. This comes just ahead of the most recent state-wide order for face masks. The festival, which takes place in the state capital, is one of the largest annual events in the U.S., and although this year’s lineup had yet to been announced, the likes of The Cure, Billie Eilish, Guns N’ Roses, and Childish Gambino headlined the 2019 bash.

Austin City Limits Festival 2020 Cancelled: Will Tourism Rebound?

Photo: @addie2354 via Twenty20

The safety and health of fans and event staff is first and foremost, but there’s no denying the effect on the local tourism industry that the cancellation of the Austin City Limits Festival will have. Having already witnessed the first-ever cancellation of the South By Southwest festival earlier this year, the city is seeing losses in annual draw of visitors in the hundreds of thousands. According to the Austin American-Statesman, in 2018 this event contributed $264.6 million to the Austin economy, creating or sustaining 1,500 jobs in the process at local restaurants, hotels, bars, and transportation. According to the Austin Monitor, the 2019 event saw approximately 75,000 people attend each day of the two-weekend festival, which totaled roughly 400,000 ticket holders.

Austin City Limits Festival 2020 Cancelled: Will Tourism Rebound?

Photo: @addie2354 via Twenty20

The Austin City Limits Festival is planned to resume in October 2021, commemorating its 20th anniversary. Those who bought tickets for the 2020 event have the option to either obtain a refund or lock-in tickets at the same price for next year. Regarding the cancellation, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in a tweet, “Few events are rooted in – & embody – the soul of this city like @aclfestival & their hard decision for the greater good is applauded. While the show won’t go on this year, there are many ways to support local musicians while we all look forward to the 20th Anniversary next year.”

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Written by Spring Sault

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