In response to SXSW cancellation, music venues join to produce We Can Do Magic concerts March 16-22

Stubb’s is one of the music venues in Austin participating in We Can Do Magic from March 16-22. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

Stubb’s is one of the music venues in Austin participating in We Can Do Magic from March 16-22. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Red River Cultural District announced March 11 that Austin music venues will be hosting We Can Do Magic, a weeklong program of concerts that will run from March 16-22.

We Can Do Magic aims to fill some of the vacancies created for venues, employees and performers due to the cancellation of official South By Southwest music festival events.

“What we are experiencing is unprecedented in so many ways,” Cody Cowan, executive director of the Red River Cultural District, said in a news release. “The cancellation of SXSW is a true test to the grit and innovation of our live music community, and Austin’s live music venues, normally competing businesses, responded by doing something unprecedented themselves. They came together to join forces and do what they do best: book amazing and unforgettable live music experiences.”

Some of the venues currently participating in We Can Do Magic include Stubb’s, Mohawk, Antone’s, Barracuda, Cheer Up Charlie’s, Beerland, Cosmic Coffee and Elysium, according to a news release by the Red River Cultural District. A full list of participating venues and updated events can be found here.

Venues participating will increase their sanitation efforts, perform deep cleanings before shows and have additional hand washing and sanitizer stations at venues, the news release states.

On March 6, Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt issued disaster orders cancelling South By Southwest for 2020 due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Hours after the official announcement, a GoFundMe fundraising page was created to solicit individual donations that will help musical artists, staff and the venues themselves to minimize the damage done.

“We had to get together as a group, as a community, to figure out how to take care of everybody that we can,” said Stephen Sternschein, the owner of Empire Control Room & Garage and one of the organizers for the GoFundMe campaign.

The priority for funds raised through the GoFundMe, which is titled Banding Together, will be paying the artists, allowing the musicians to keep the money they would have made by playing a SXSW gig and the venues to keep events on the schedule to make an income.

Nicholas Cicale


Austin and Travis County adopted new guidelines, recommending local residents wear face masks or fabric covering when out in public. (Christopher Neely/Community impact Newspaper)
5 coronavirus stories Austin-area readers might have missed

Readers might have missed the following five coronavirus-related stories.

Animal adoption, foster numbers up as Austin community comes together to support shelters

Austin animal shelters report increases in animal forster applications, adoptions and intakes.

Passover, a major observance for members of the Jewish community, begins April 8. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many services are being held online. (Courtesy Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston)
Austin’s Jewish community prepares for Passover observance under quarantine

Synagogues and Jewish organizations in Austin have pivoted to offer online Passover Seders to families in lock down ahead.

Austin and Travis County adopted new guidelines, recommending local residents wear face masks or fabric covering when out in public. (Christopher Neely/Community impact Newspaper)
Austin health officials are tracking 8 clusters of confirmed coronavirus cases

The clusters are groups of coronavirus cases health officials know are related to one another.

A $4.3 billion project to improve I-35 through Central Austin will include a $600 million piece that will be provided by deferring other projects in the area. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)
Local political leaders look to free up $600 million for I-35 by potentially waiting on local projects such as Loop 360, RM 620, US 79 and Parmer Lane

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is scheduled to vote April 13 on a list of projects to defer in order to fund an I-35 improvement project.

Minerva, captured here, is an eastern screech owl in Northwest Austin who laid five eggs that are expected to hatch sometime in April. (Courtesy Merlin the Owl)
WATCH HERE: Northwest Austin webcam streaming owlet eggs set to hatch in April

A Northwest Austin resident set up a webcam to capture two owls raise their owlets.

Yesenia and Antonio Morales welcomed their fourth child, Luka, on March 31. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pregnancies won't stop in a pandemic, but growing precautions leave expecting mothers uncertain and anxious

As the coronavirus tightens its grip on Austin and much of the world, inevitable human events such as pregnancy and childbirth are having to adapt in the new, cautious and socially distanced reality.

Coronavirus stories readers might have missed from the Austin area

Here are nine stories Austin-area readers might have missed in our previous coverage.

Gregory Fenves will step down as the president of the University of Texas on June 30, according to a letter he wrote April 7 to the UT community. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
University of Texas President Gregory Fenves to leave for Emory University in Atlanta

University of Texas at Austin President Greg Fenves announced in a letter to the UT community that he will leave the state’s flagship college for Emory University.

The Austin ISD board of trustees met for a virtual board meeting April 6. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Austin ISD approves new grading policy for coronavirus-impacted spring semester

Austin ISD will temporarily switch to a “pass or incomplete” grading scale for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

Abbott's order closes all state parks and historical sites effective 5 p.m. April 7. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Gov. Abbott closes state parks, historical sites due to coronavirus concerns

Abbott said the closure is to help prevent large gatherings and strengthen social distancing.