What does a guide to going out look like when we’re all supposed to stay in?
Since you’re reading this on austin360.com, we don’t need to tell you that the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed what Austinites’ lives look like. But in the interest of recapping a strange couple of weeks:
• South by Southwest, Austin’s annual interactive, film and music conference and festivals, was canceled March 6 over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. This week, we unpacked what that means for our beloved city.
• As the city assessed the pandemic threat, other major spring events started to cancel or postpone, such as Rodeo Austin, Luck Reunion and the Kite Fest.
• Our city’s cultural centers joined the mitigation effort, everywhere from Bass Concert Hall and the Thinkery to the Continental Club and Alamo Drafthouse.
• On March 17, Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt shut down the city’s bars and restaurant dining rooms, also banning gatherings of more than 10 people, all until May 1.
No more than 10 people in one place until May 1.
Six weeks in a quiet Austin.
Necessary to save lives. Surreal nonetheless.
The American-Statesman’s features department has been working nonstop, ever since the future of SXSW started to seem uncertain, to bring you accurate, timely news about Austin’s new normal. All of us at Austin360 write about this creative community because we love it and the people that make it up. It’s heartbreaking to see the movie screens go dark, the amps get unplugged, the museums shut their doors, the bar tip jars go unfilled.
That brings us back to the question we started out with. Each week, we write in this section about the latest and greatest dining, drinking, arts, recreation, music and film that Austin has to offer. The next few weeks will look a little different.
Starting this issue, we’ll tell you how our restaurants, bars and boozeries are responding to the coronavirus pandemic, and how you can still support the bartenders, brewers, chefs and service industry workers that keep them running.
We’ll let you know how Austin’s arts community is keeping creativity alive when no one’s out and about.
We’ll prove to you that the music never really stops in Austin, as you can see from the number of livestreamed concerts popping up.
We’ll join you on the couch and share the movies and TV shows you have to watch while you practice social distancing indoors. And as this pandemic hits the film industry and keeps theaters closed, we’ll bring you the latest news about what’s next for the things you love to watch.
We also want to hear from you. Are there questions about Austin's entertainment scene you've always wanted to ask? Culture makers you are curious about? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This public health emergency is nothing to take lightly. We hope you’re staying safe inside to protect yourself and the most vulnerable among us.
You can still keep it weird without going out.